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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Research Project #419768


Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Develop plant cell wall polysaccharide-based bioplastic composites with tailor-designed thermal, mechanical and biological properties for active packaging, construction and automotive materials. 2. Convert plant cell wall polysaccharides into biomedical materials for tissue regeneration, cosmetic personal care products, carriers of bioactive substances for the colon-specific delivery and to produce synbiotics (probiotic + prebiotic). 2a. Develop regeneration medicine and drug delivery biomedical products 2b. Develop skin-care biomedical products 3. Develop plant cell wall oligosaccharide-based prebiotics from agricultural processing residues rich in pectins and hemicelluloses and test the hypothesis that prebiotics can selectively promote the growth of gut bacteria associated with lean tissue growth to potentially control obesity. 3a. Conduct in vivo analysis of candidate prebiotics 3b. Discover new pectic and hemicellulosic prebiotics 3c. Determine if prebiotics can alter the colonic microflora to potentially control obesity 4. Screen plant cell wall oligosaccharides for biological activity (anti-adhesion of pathogenic bacteria, immunomodulation, induction of apoptosis).

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
A multidisciplinary biorefinery approach will be used to develop health-related and biobased co-products from plant cell wall polysaccharides in fruit and vegetable processing residues. Plant cell wall polysaccharides will be converted into biomedical materials for human tissue regeneration, cosmetic personal care products, carriers of bioactive substances for colon-specific delivery and to produce synbiotics, in which probiotic bacteria are encapsulated in a prebiotic. Plant cell wall oligosaccharide-based prebiotics will be isolated from agricultural processing residues rich in pectins and hemicelluloses. The hypothesis that prebiotics can selectively promote the growth of gut bacteria associated with lean tissue growth to potentially control obesity will be tested. Plant cell wall oligosaccharides will also be screened for biological activity such as preventing the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to intestinal epithelial cells, immunomodulation, and induction of cancer cell apoptosis. Bioplastic composites will be designed with bacteriocins for control of food-borne pathogens with active packaging. Weight-bearing, light weight bioplastic composites will also be produced with construction and consumer product applications in mind.

3. Progress Report:
The fabrication of bioplastics from sugar beet pulp was optimized. The resulting bioplastics were tested for food packaging purpose in combination with several natural antibiotics, such as AIT (a wasabi extract), thymol, or Nisaplin®, and modified environmental conditions (temperature, oxygen content, etc). These totally biodegradable packaging materials have demonstrated excellent biological activity in suppressing the growth of Salmonella and Listeria. Several manuscripts are either published in peer-reviewed journals or have been submitted for publication. The preparation of devices for colonic drug delivery from pectin and other polysaccharides was completed. The in vivo experiments on rats have demonstrated the capability of pectin-derived drug carriers to deliver protein-drugs or live bacteria to the colon, therefore, a clinical trial is planned. The preparation of three dimensional porous devices from mixtures of pectin and hyaluronate has been tested on rats for the effect on wound healing, using a commercial bioactive as a control. Research on novel plant cell wall oligosaccharides as potential bioactive functional food/feed ingredients continued. Semi-commercial citrus pectic oligosaccharide synbiotics were as effective as fructo-oligosaccharides and inulin to protect the survival of probiotic bacteria for up to four months under refrigerated aerobic conditions. Low molecular weight, low degree of esterification homogalacturonan pectic oligosaccharides had the optimal activity to prevent adhesion of E. coli O157:H7 to HT29 cells. Collaboration with a CRADA partner demonstrated that xyloglucan oligosaccharides from cranberry prevented E. coli binding to gut and urinary tract epithelial cells. Conditions for pectic oligosaccharide and modified citrus pectin production using pectin lyase were developed. Collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and DuPont Danisco produced arabinose-rich pectic oligosaccharides from sugar beet in large enough quantity to conduct a swine feeding trial for in vivo prebiotic activity.

4. Accomplishments
1. Preparation of bioplastics using inexpensive sugar beet pulp. The sugar beet industry is under stress today because of litigation related to round-up ready sugar beets and negative publicity surrounding sugar in food formulations. Sugar crop demand may suffer unless valuable co-products are developed from sugar beet processing by-products. ARS researchers at Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania optimized the composition and processing conditions for bioplastics derived from sugar beets. The pectin content in sugar beet pulp plays the key role in bioplastic fabrication and thermodynamic properties such that a bioplastic can be made from 95% sugar beet pulp. A patent application was filed and a CRADA was developed with a major packaging company to commercialize this technology. Products such as these will diversify the sugar beet industry providing a hedge against decreased demand for sugar.

2. Cranberry carbohydrates to control urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections cause millions of doctor visits annually for women who commonly suffer this recurrent bacterial infection by the age of 24 years. Previously, the cranberry juice compounds associated with its red pigment were thought to be responsible for prevention of Escherichia coli adherence to the urinary tract epithelium. ARS researchers at Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania described the carbohydrate composition of sugar chains derived from cranberry pulp that prevented the adherence of E. coli to urinary tract and gastrointestinal cells. A joint patent application was filed under a CRADA with a major cranberry product producer. These new cranberry carbohydrates have potential to provide the consumer with another bioactive food ingredient to control urinary tract infections.

Review Publications
Liu, L.S., Kost, J., Yan, F., Spiro, R.C. 2012. Hydrogels from biopolymer hybrid for biomedical, food, and functional food applications. Polymer. 4(2):997-1011.

Liu, B., Bhaladhare, S., Zhan, P., Jiang, L., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2011. Morphology and properties of thermoplastic sugar beet pulp and poly(butylene adipate-co-terepthalate) blends. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 50(24):13859-13865.

Farris, S., Schaich, K.M., Liu, L.S., Cooke, P.H., Yam, K.L. 2010. Gelatin-Pectin Composite Films from Polyion Complex Hydrogels. Food Hydrocolloids Journal. 25:1761-1770.

Li, W., Coffin, D.R., Jin, Z.T., Latona, N.P., Liu, C., Liu, B., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S. 2012. Biodegradable composites from polyester and sugar beet pulp with antimicrobial coating for food packaging. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 126:E361-E372.

Liu, B., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2012. Utilization of pectin extracted sugar beet pulp for composite application. Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy. 6:1-8.

Bobkalonov, D.T., Kasymova, G.F., Mukhidinov, Z.K., Dzhonmurodov, A.S., Khalikov, D.K., Liu, L.S. 2012. Kinetics of piroxicam release from low-methylated pectin/zein hydrogel microspheres. Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal. 46(1):50-53.

Ashby, R.D., Zerkowski, J.A., Solaiman, D., Liu, L.S. 2011. Biopolymer scaffolds for use in delivering antimicrobial Sophorolipids to the acne-causing bacterium propionibacterium acnes. New Biotechnology. 28(1):24-30.

Liu, B., Zhang, J., Liu, L.S., Hotchkiss, A.T. 2011. Preparation and properties of water and glycerol-plasticized sugar beet pulp plastics. Polymers and the Environment. 19:559-567.

Chaluvadi, S., Hotchkiss, A.T., Call, J.E., Luchansky, J.B., Phillips, J.G., Liu, L.S., Yam, K.L. 2012. Protection of probiotic bacteria in a synbiotic matrix following aerobic storage at 4 deg C. Beneficial Microbes. 3:175-187.

Yan, F., Cao, H., Liu, L.S., Cover, T.L., Washington, M.K., Shi, Y., Chaturvedi, R., Peek, R.M., Wilson, B., Polk, B. 2011. Colon-specific delivery of a probiotic-derived soluble protein ameliorates intestinal inflammation in mice through an EGFR-dependent mechanism. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 121(6):2242-2253.