Abstract— This paper presents a derived model which predicts the soil pH based on its soil moisture content and distance from flare point. The response coefficient of the soil pH to the distance from flare point and soil moisture content was evaluated to ascertain the viability and reliability of the highlighted dependence. Results of series of evaluations carried out indicate that the correlations between soil pH and distance from flare point & soil moisture content as evaluated from the actual and model-predicted results were all ˃ 0.88. Standard errors incurred in obtaining results of soil pH based on distance from flare point & moisture content were 0.08 and 0.07 & 0.076 and 0.06%, as obtained from actual and model-predicted results respectively. The validity of the model; ξ = - 0.0496 β2 – 1.5 x10-7ϑ + 0.7122β + 0.0003ϑ + 2.5408 was rooted on the insignificant maximum deviation of model-predicted values of soil pH from the corresponding actual values which was less than 1.1%. This translated into over 98.9% operational confidence level for the derived model as well as over 0.98 response coefficient of soil pH to the combined operational influence of distance from flare point and soil moisture content.
2. The Development of Cellulose Nanocrystals Reinforced with Carboxylmethyl Cellulose/Gelatin for Biodegradable Packaging
Authors: E. C. Nwanna, L. C. Orakwe, P. C. Eze, C.P. Nwachukwu, A. E. Ekpo, J. I. Maduegbuna
Abstract— It has significant potential to strengthen carboxymethyl cellulose/gelatin nanocomposite with cellulose nanocrystals from plantain stems for the production of bioplastics. Alkaline pretreatment and acid hydrolysis were used to extract cellulose nanocrystals from plantain stem. Films made of carboxymethyl cellulose and gelatin were strengthened using cellulose nanocrystals made from plantain stem fiber. SEM, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and water vapour permeability (WVP) were used to characterize the synthetic bioplastic's physical properties. The environmental deterioration of the bioplastic samples was observed over time at regular intervals in soil that was taken from a waste landfill. The results showed that the water vapour permeability of the investigated films was decreased by the addition of CNC from 2.45 x 10-6g/m x h x Pa to 1.73 x 10-6g/m x h x Pa. Additionally, it was discovered that unreinforced films degraded by 0.2% after 35 days, whereas 5wt% and 10wt% CNC reinforced films lost weight as a result of biodegradation by 0.1% and 0.18%, respectively. Overall, the interconnected carboxymethyl cellulose/gelatin bolstered CNC nanocomposite film for making plastics increased the heat and water vapour permeability of the packaging film, which offers the chances of their packaging application.
3. Assessment of Probiotic Properties and Consumer Acceptability of Yogurt Made from Commercial Milk using Bacterial Isolates from NONO
Authors: Oranu M. I, Okonkwo I. F., Onwumelu I. J., Okafor E. C., Ekwealor C. C.
Abstract— Nono is a traditionally fermented milk product commonly consumed in parts of Nigeria. It undergoes spontaneous fermentation by lactic acid bacteria (LAB), conferring potential probiotic properties. This study isolated and identified LAB from Nono and assessed their suitability as novel starter cultures for yogurt production using commercial milk. Three LAB isolates were obtained from Nono samples on selective media. They were Gram-positive rods, catalase-negative, with ability to ferment various sugars. The isolate with the greatest antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was molecularly identified as Lactobacillus fermentum. Set-type yogurt was produced at laboratory scale by inoculating reconstituted commercial milk (14% total solids) with 2% of commercial starter culture (Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus); 2% L. fermentum; and 1% each of commercial starter and L. fermentum. The probiotic, physicochemical, sensory and storage properties were analyzed. L. fermentum-containing yogurts had lower pH and higher titratable acidity than the control yogurt. Proximate composition was similar across samples. Sensory evaluation showed comparable consumer acceptability, with slight preference for the control sample. Yogurt with L. fermentum maintained higher viable LAB during storage at refrigeration temperature for 28 days. The findings demonstrate the potential for using LAB isolates from traditionally fermented foods like Nono as novel starter cultures in yogurt manufacture. This can promote product diversification and valorization of indigenous fermentation practices.
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Agriculture Journal IJOEAR
International Journal of Environmental and Agriculture Research