Location: Functional Foods Research2019 Annual Report
Objective 1: Evaluate and characterize chemicals and nutriceuticals in agricultural crops and products for new or improved food and feed uses. Objective 2: Enhance methodologies to quickly determine and evaluate chemical components in a given agricultural product. Objective 3: Enhance methodologies to rapidly and non-destructively assess the identity and levels of key phytochemicals and nutriceuticals in large sample sets of raw agricultural harvests and products. Objective 4: Evaluate and characterize phytochemical composition and bio-physical properties from mid-west area crops, and under-utilized plants and nuisance plants to develop new materials for use as naturally based bio-pesticides for microbial, insect, or weed pests, or to enhance home garden, organic, agricultural, horticultural plant growth and production. Objective 5: Evaluate and characterize phytochemical composition and biophysical properties to develop new bio-based additives and products for the production of new bio-based ingredients as plastics, fillers, delivery agents, replacement ingredients for the production of new bio-based consumer products.
The goals of this project are (1) to develop accurate analytical methodology and rapid non-destructive spectrophotometric analytical methods to rapidly assess the levels of specific phytochemicals in seeds, tissues, and processed products, and (2) to develop new uses for low value agricultural waste and co-products, under-utilized plant species. Methodologies will be applied to prepare sufficient quantities of pure phytochemicals for further research, to prepare green-process extracts with defined phytochemical composition, and to characterize the phytochemical composition in products and co-products processed from established crops and new crops, as well as in products from biofuel crops, such as oil seed press cakes, straw, and processing residues. Characterization of key phytochemicals from crude and processed agricultural products and co-products will be used to drive the development of new products from current agricultural crops, as well as developing new and alternative crops. The production of biofuels and agricultural food products generates a variety of co-products (carbon dioxide, sugars, fibers, corn dried distillers grain, glycerol, seed press cakes) and other less valuable residues. Redirecting these wastes to more profitable, higher value uses would benefit both the producers and processors. This project will evaluate and utilize green extraction methods in the preparation of refined phytochemical products, which will be used as ingredients for both functional foods, and new non-food agronomic uses, such as for new uses as functional food ingredients, bio-pesticides and bio-control agents, bio-fillers and additives for alternative bio-fiber and bio-plastic products, and as soil amendments for use in organic farming, lawn care, potting mixes, and home garden products.
The goals of this project are (1) to develop accurate analytical methodology and rapid non-destructive spectrophotometric analytical methods to assess the levels of specific phytochemicals in seeds, tissues, and processed products, and (2) to develop new uses for low value agricultural waste and co-products, and under-utilized plant species. Characterization of key physical properties and key chemicals from crude and processed agricultural products and co-products will be used to drive the development of new products from current agricultural crops and alternative crops. Substantial progress has been made on the use of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as a rapid method for determining phytochemical composition in several plant materials based on collaboration and funding opportunities including: sugar beets, sorghum, soybeans, legume beans and peas, and mustard family plant seeds including broccoli, carinata, and canola. Major plant natural products have been identified and, in many cases, quantified. Work has begun on the isolation and characterization of saponins from sugar beet processing wastes for use as a potential biological control agents of field pests; ferulic acid containing compounds have been isolated and characterized from sorghum stems for elucidating their role in controlling insect pests; anthocyanins from pigmented corn and beans have been structurally identified in work to develop new bioactive coloring agents for foods; flavonoids from broccoli have been isolated and studied for the bioavailability in rat digestion models as part of work aimed at elucidating synergistic effects of flavonoids with the isothiocyanates found in broccoli; and work has begun on the characterization of volatile isothiocyanates produced from characterized defatted mustard seed meals for use as fungicides. Any chemical analysis is destructive, time consuming, and not comprehensive. Use of nondestructive spectral analysis techniques such as near-infrared spectrometry (NIRS) is rapid, nondestructive and comprehensive. NIRS has been used for the rapid evaluation of bulk parameters, such as total protein, total fats, total moisture, and total fiber, in a variety of food grains. Working with funding from the United Soybean Board, we examined the possibility of developing NIRS calibrations for accurate estimates of specific chemical constituents such as the soluble sugar composition and the essential amino acid composition of soybeans. We have found that NIRS does not discriminate the individual soluble sugars or individual amino acids very accurately. However, we have found these methods can be applied to the determination of certain phytochemicals in seeds such as the isoflavones in soybeans. Low value agricultural co-products and bio-solids are being used to make biochar which can be combined with a variety of low value wastes to create new liquid absorbents and new soil amendments with enhanced plant growth properties. Co-products include harvest residuals and waste products from agricultural processing, such as soybean hulls, and bio-solids include municipal sewage solids and agricultural processing waste streams such as wood sawdust. Biochar is the carbon-rich residual product created under anaerobic conditions by the pyrolysis of plant-based biomass. We determined the addition of processed bio-solids and biochars to potting substrates in greenhouse systems and to large-scale turf systems such as golf greens, golf tees, and athletic fields can greatly increase water and nutrient retention, especially in sandy soils. An additional advantage of using biochar instead of other organic amendments is its resistance to microbial decomposition and hence longevity in these applications. We have developed a collaboration with the United Soybean Board to examine the use of soy hulls in developing biochar-enhanced absorbents. This project is just underway. There has been significant interest in using non-petroleum-based adhesives and resins to fabricate wood composites, for both interior and exterior uses. Developed methodologies from inexpensive by-products from corn, oil seed press cakes, such as milkweed, for production of a more cost-effective bio-based adhesive/resin for this purpose. These products are inexpensive to produce with excellent adhesive and mechanical properties, and can be used in building construction, for furniture components, and in manufacturing industries. As of 2010, the natural fiber composites (NFCs) industry is valued at $2.1 billion and is expected to grow about 10% annually. NFCs are extensively employed in the automotive industry in non-structural applications. Most matrices employed in NFCs are synthetic resins derived from petroleum sources and create environmental problems when disposed. To address this problem bio-based adhesives such as soy and cottonseed meal flours can be employed as adhesives/resins. We have developed collaborations with several researchers and a private company for source materials and to develop new products. Eastern red cedar is an abundant renewable resource and represents a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. Eastern red cedar wood is the source of cedarwood oil, a valuable commodity used for perfumes, insecticides, and repellents. We have designed new efficient methods to extract cedar wood oil from juniper wood for use as a renewable source of natural materials while providing a source of income for farmers and ranchers as well as meet consumer demand for safe products. The enhanced extracts have been tested for a variety of bioactivities. The extracts have been found to impart resistance to wood-decay and termites when they are impregnated into otherwise susceptible wood. The cedarwood oil has also been shown to be repellent to several species of ants, including red imported fire ants and little fire ants. The cedarwood oil is toxic to black-legged ticks, brown dog ticks, lone star ticks, houseflies and several species of mosquitoes. Cedarwood oil is a very safe material towards humans but has great potential for controlling a wide range of economically important pests. We also investigated the use of a mixture of a derivative of starch and cedarwood oil (CWO) for pressure treating wood to successfully inhibit attack by termites and wood-rot fungi. In addition, the starch/CWO mixture inhibited the absorption of water by the treated wood.
1. Derivative of starch and cedarwood oil (CWO) for pressure treating wood. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, have shown that a mixture of a derivative of starch and cedarwood oil (CWO) for pressure treating wood will inhibit attack by termites and wood-rot fungi. Cedarwood oil is obtained from the heartwood of Eastern red cedar and is a safe, natural product from an underutilized agricultural resource in the United States. The results indicated that wood treated with the starch/CWO mixture was resistant to attack by both termites and several species of wood-rot fungi. In addition, the starch/CWO mixture inhibited the absorption of water by the treated wood. Water beaded on the surface of treated wood and treated wood gained less water when submerged and did not swell as much as untreated wood. The starch derivative was found to have bioactivity by itself, and this effect may have been due to the wood being kept drier and/or some inherent toxicity of its own. These results demonstrate that the starch/CWO mixture holds promise as a method for treating wood to prevent decay using natural products. This can be used by the lumber industry to create treated wood resistant to decay using natural ingredients.
2. Fabrication of natural fiber composites consisting of Osage orange seed flour (OOSM) reinforced with non-woven hemp mat. Natural fiber composites (NFCs) are extensively employed in the automotive industry in non-structural applications. Most matrices employed in NFCs are synthetic resins derived from petroleum sources and create environmental problems when disposed. To address this problem, bio-based adhesives can be employed as adhesives/resins. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, have shown that Osage orange seed meal is an effective adhesive as soy flours. Commercial use of OOSM as bio based adhesives would benefit both NFC manufacturing industries by fabricating a product that is completely bio-degradable and light weight. Osage orange seed meals and fruit extracts are abundantly available and can be effectively processed to create several value-added products including seed oil, fiber, and adhesives making this a potential source of new products.
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Zalamea, P.C., Dalling, J.W., Sarmiento, C., Arnold, A.E., Delevich, C., Berhow, M.A., Ndobegang, A., Gripenberg, S., Davis, A.S. 2018. Dormancy-defense syndromes and tradeoffs between physical and chemical defenses in seeds of pioneer species. Ecology. 99(9):1988-1998. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2419.
Tisserat, B., Eller, F.J., Mankowski, M.E. 2019. Properties of composite wood panels fabricated from Eastern Redcedar employing various bio-based green adhesives. BioResources. 14(3):6666-6685. https://doi.org/10.15376/biores.14.3.6666-6685.
Muturi, E.J., Doll, K.M., Berhow, M.A., Weiler, L., Rooney, A.P. 2019. Honeysuckle essential oil as a potential source of ecofriendly larvicides for mosquito control. Pest Management Science. 75(7):2043-2048. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.5327.
Wille, J.J., Berhow, M.A., Park, J.Y. 2019. Differential anticancer effect of an apple extract (Applephenon®), polyphenols and isoflavones on normal human keratinocytes and epidermoid cancer cells. Journal of Cancer Therapy. 10:476-493.