Fertilisers are one of the most important elements of modern agriculture. The application of fertilisers in agricultural practices has markedly increased the production of food, feed, fuel, fibre and other plant products. However, a significant portion of nutrients applied in the field is not taken up by plants and is lost through leaching, volatilisation, nitrification, or other means. Such a loss increases the cost of fertiliser and severely pollutes the environment. To alleviate these problems, enhanced efficiency fertilisers (EEFs) are produced and used in the form of controlled release fertilisers and nitrification/urease inhibitors. The application of biopolymers for coating in EEFs, tailoring the release pattern of nutrients to closely match the growth requirement of plants and development of realistic models to predict the release pattern of common nutrients have been the foci of fertiliser research. In this context, this paper intends to review relevant aspects of new developments in fertiliser production and use, agronomic, economic and environmental drives for enhanced efficiency fertilisers and their formulation process and the nutrient release behaviour. Application of biopolymers and complex coacervation technique for nutrient encapsulation is also explored as a promising technology to produce EEFs.
Lactoferrin (LF) is a multifunctional protein occurring in many biological secretions including milk. It possesses iron binding/transferring, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. These functional properties intimately depend on the structural integrity of LF especially its higher order conformation. LF is primarily extracted from bovine milk and it is subsequently added into many commercial products such as nutritional supplements, infant formula, cosmetics and toothpaste. LF is sensitive to denaturation induced by temperature and other physicochemical stresses. Hence, the extraction, powder formation processes of LF and processing parameters of LF-containing products have to be optimized to minimise its undesired denaturation. This review documents the advances made on structure-function relationships and discusses the effectiveness of methods used to preserve the structure of LF during thermal processing. Oral delivery, as the most convenient way for administering LF, is also discussed focusing on digestion of LF in oral, gastric and intestinal stages. The effectiveness of methods used to deliver LF to intestinal digestion stage in structurally intact form is also compared. Altogether, this work comprehensively reviews the fate of LF during thermal processing and digestion, and suggests suitable means to preserve its structural integrity and functional properties. Scope of review The manuscript aims at providing a comprehensive review of the latest publications on four aspects of LF: structural features, functional properties, nature and extent of denaturation and gastrointestinal digestion. It also analyses how these publications benefit food and pharmaceutical industries.
a b s t r a c tSpray drying trials were carried out to produce amorphous sucrose powder. Firstly, pure sucrose solutions were prepared and spray dried at inlet and outlet temperatures of 160°C and 70°C, respectively. No amorphous powder was obtained and only 18% of the feed solids were recovered in a crystalline form, with the remaining solids lost as wall deposits. Secondly, sodium caseinate (Na-C) and hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (WPI) were added in sucrose:protein solid ratios of (99.5:0.5) and (99.0:1.0) and drying trials were conducted maintaining the initial drying conditions. In both these cases, greater than 80% of the feed solids were recovered in an amorphous form. The increase in protein concentration from 0.5% to 1% on dry solid basis did not further improve the recovery. The remarkable increase in recovery from a small addition of protein is attributed to preferential migration of protein molecules to the droplet-air interface, and the subsequent transformation of the thin, protein-rich film into a non-sticky glassy state upon drying. This film overcomes both the particle-to-particle and particle-to-wall stickiness. The measured bulk glass rubber transition temperature (T g-r ) values of the bulk mixtures at various moisture contents were very close to the corresponding mean glass transition temperature (T g ) of the pure sucrose indicating that surface layer T g rather than the bulk T g is responsible for this. Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) studies revealed that the particle surface was covered by 50-58% (by mass) proteins. The calculated glass transition temperature of the surface layer (T g,surface layer ), based on the surface elemental compositions, showed that the T g,surface layer has increased to the extent that it remained within the safe drying envelope of spray drying.
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