Background: Foodborne illnesses have a significant global burden and can be life-threatening, but good food hygiene practice can prevent most. SafeConsume is an EU-funded, transdisciplinary project aiming to improve consumers’ food safety behaviour and reduce the burden of foodborne illness. Young people are at risk of foodborne illness and research indicates a lack of knowledge or concern about food hygiene. Educational settings provide an opportunity to influence behaviour; but for resources to be effective and implementable, they should be evidence-based and thoughtfully designed. Aim: To develop educational resources to teach food hygiene and food safety to school children aged 11–18 years old, through a user-based approach, specific to the educational setting. Methods: Development used a two-step process referred to as: the insight phase; and prototyping and refinement phase. This included using the findings of a needs assessment with students and educators based on the Theo-retical Domains Framework (TDF) presented in earlier publications (Eley et al., 2021; Syeda et al., 2021). A user-centred approach to development was then taken, employing an iterative process of idea generation, consultation with a multidisciplinary steering group, and user testing. Results: The insight phase identified students’ and educators’ deficiencies in knowledge and skills, and cultural and social influences on food safety behaviours. This phase, including Curriculum analysis informed student learning objectives and educator training topics. Following a round of development and consultation, a total of seven teaching resources were developed, with four educator training modules to improve knowledge and confidence of educators. Conclusions: Behavioural theory is a useful foundation for the development of school-based health interventions, which aim to positively influence students’ knowledge, behaviour, and attitudes. To support educators’ uptake, materials should be aligned to the national curriculum and should consider practical factors like time and environmental factors. By working closely with stakeholders at all stages of development, barriers to use, implementation and efficacy can be identified and mitigated.
The exploitation of industrial crops for the production of ligno-cellulosic compounds and vegetable oil on marginal lands relies on efficient harvesting and logistics’ strategies. The present deliverable goes through the difficulties encountered from harvesting to dispatchment of indrustrial crops highlighting prons and cons of the currently available technologies to improve the whole value chain in the following categories: lignocellulosic crops (fiber, herbaceous perennial and Short-Medium Rotation Coppice (SRC-MRC)) and oil crops. The two sections are indipendently investigated focusing on harvesting and densifiction of the biomass to reduce cost and increase profitability. The information provided within the present document was gathered from experimental data collected on fields, from literature review and background knowledge gained from collaboration in previous research projects. Regarding fiber crop (in particular hemp) it is possible to say that there are several solutions available to harvest this species, which should be properly selected according to the crop features and to the aim of the cultivation, i.e. fiber and seed-fiber. Focusing on lignocellulosic crops, the present deliverable focused mainly on miscanthus, describing the possible alternative solutions which are generally based on cutting the plants and densify them through chipping and/or baling. Harvesting systems for SRC and MRC have been instead experiencing a substantial change in the last years, shifting from dedicated systems for biomass harvesting and densification to semi or fully mechanized harvesting approaches, derived from forestry sector, in order to produce fiber wood from the main stem and biomass from branches and tops. Finally, concerning oil crops, it is possible to say that, among the investigated ones, camelina and castor can efficiently be harvested with conventional combine harvesters equipped with cereal and sunflower header respectively. Castor bean harvesting is instead still a great challenge, indeed the present deliverable highlights how a sunflower header is a better option than a cereal one, but however many concerns are still present regarding seed loss and quality of the collected product.
In this work, a microfluidic paper-based analytical device (μPAD) was developed for magnesium determination in saliva samples. The idea was to develop a fast and simple method for biological magnesium quantification targeting saliva as an easy to collect and non-invasive alternative to blood or urine samples. The μPAD approach was chosen due to its advantages, namely ideally suited to conduct on-location determinations, and not requiring trained operators or specialized laboratory equipment. The developed μPAD was based on the colorimetric reaction between eriochrome cyanine and magnesium to form an intense orange/reddish colour product. The colour intensity was determined by image processing after digital scanning, made within 10 to 90 min after sample loading. Under optimal conditions, the dynamic concentration range was 82–247 μM, with detection and quantification limits of 62 μM and 81 μM, respectively. The device is stable for up to 3 months when stored in vacuum or in a modified nitrogen atmosphere. An accuracy assessment was made by comparing the results obtained using the developed μPAD with those from atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). The relative difference between the two sets of results was below 5%.
The spatio-temporal dynamics of the black scabbardfish ( Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839) abundance in the northeast Atlantic was modeled using two linked Bayesian state-space models fitted to fishery-dependent data from trawlers operating to the west and north off the British Isles and longliners off the west coast of Portugal. The stage-structured life cycle models included species vital processes and fishing, and are linked by the migration flow between the two areas. Although data on spawner abundance and recruitment are missing, the hierarchical nature of state-space models allows a convenient representation of black scabbardfish dynamics using reliable data from the two studied areas, which correspond to two of the three main fishing grounds for the species. The approach presented is comparable to the few models developed for other species, such as European eel, where spawning and recruitment occur at restricted and distant regions. This approach is likely to remain the only option for black scabbardfish stock assessment and fisheries monitoring, as it is unlikely that data about the unobserved spawning and early life stages will become available in the near future.
A chemical study of the CH2Cl2−MeOH (1:1) extract from the sponge Ernsta naturalis collected in Rodrigues (Mauritius) based on a molecular networking dereplication strategy highlighted one novel aminopyrimidone alkaloid compound, ernstine A (1), seven new aminoimidazole alkaloid compounds, phorbatopsins D–E (2, 3), calcaridine C (4), naamines H–I (5, 7), naamidines J–K (6, 8), along with the known thymidine (9). Their structures were established by spectroscopic analysis (1D and 2D NMR spectra and HRESIMS data). To improve the investigation of this unstudied calcareous marine sponge, a metabolomic study by molecular networking was conducted. The isolated molecules are distributed in two clusters of interest. Naamine and naamidine derivatives are grouped together with ernstine in the first cluster of twenty-three molecules. Phorbatopsin derivatives and calcaridine C are grouped together in a cluster of twenty-one molecules. Interpretation of the MS/MS spectra of other compounds of these clusters with structural features close to the isolated ones allowed us to propose a structural hypothesis for 16 compounds, 5 known and 11 potentially new.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Project: EC | Strength2Food (678024)
Insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables was found in primary school children. To address this problem, a three-year school-based multicomponent intervention was conducted in 14 primary schools in the City of Zagreb. The aim of the study was therefore to evaluate one of the primary goals of the intervention—the increase in fruit and vegetable intake among primary school children. A total of 681 children were allocated to the intervention (n = 300 in the control group and n = 381 in the intervention group). The intervention included 23 interactive classroom workshops, 10 cross-curricular activities, 13 homework challenges, visual exposure with educational posters in classrooms, parent education via the website, and the implementation of new dishes into the school food system. Fruit and vegetable intake was assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline and after the intervention. Data were analyzed by per-protocol analysis. The study involved 259 children (50.2% girls; age 7.7 ± 0.4 years; n = 116 in the control group and n = 143 in the intervention group) who completed a food intake frequency questionnaire at both time points. Children in the intervention group showed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in total daily fruit and vegetable intake (before: 332.1 ± 164.9 g; after: 430.1 ± 186.7 g) compared to the control group (before: 350.2 ± 187.5; after: 382.6 ± 196.8) after the intervention. The increase in fruit and vegetable intake was achieved in 89% of children, while 25% more children reached the daily recommendation of 400 g. The use of the multicomponent intervention showed potential to increase fruit and vegetable intake in primary school children.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Project: EC | SafeConsumE (727580)
The SafeConsume educational suite was designed to improve knowledge about undertaking safer food practices and avoiding food-borne illnesses among young people. The resources were designed to support educators and members of the community who teach young people (aged 11–18 years) and include lesson plans and supporting teacher training resources. To assess the efficacy and suitability of the resources, an evaluation of the central lesson, the ‘user journey’, was conducted within four European countries. The mixed-methods evaluation included the following elements: a pre- and post-scenario-based questionnaire, a satisfaction questionnaire, focus groups with students; and interviews with teachers. Data from the scenario-based questionnaires were analysed using a mixed effects normal linear regression model. Qualitative data were thematically analysed, and the main themes were discussed. A total of 171 students and 9 educators took part from schools based in Portugal, Hungary, France and England. The results indicated a significant improvement in students’ knowledge and understanding of appropriate food hygiene practices overall, although this varied among countries. The resources were found to be well-suited to help teachers deliver the lesson, being considered by teachers to be both informative and flexible. Minor alternations were suggested, including alterations to lesson delivery or breaking the lesson into smaller sections, and increasing the lesson’s interactivity.
Environmental effects and, particularly, temperature changes have been demonstrated to influence the activity, function, and well-being of teleosts. Temperature may change seasonally in the wild, and in captivity under aquaculture operations. Moreover, climate change is expected to shift temperature profiles worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are important temperature-sensitive gene-expression regulators acting at the post-transcriptional level. They are known to be key regulators in development, reproduction, and immune responses. Therefore, early larval development of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), one of the most extensively cultured species in Mediterranean aquaculture, was investigated at early rearing temperatures, i.e., 15, 17.5, and 20 °C, in regard to the impact of temperatures on miRNAs through sncRNA high-throughput sequencing but also at the phenotypic level in terms of growth, sex, vision, and skeletal deformities. Expression profiling revealed stage- and temperature-specific miRNA expression targeting genes with roles in reproduction and immune response mainly at the flexion and all-fins stages. Similar stage- and temperature-specific results were also observed concerning the number of rod cells and lower jaw elongation. The present work presents for the first time highly promising results on the influence of early rearing temperature at the post-transcriptional level during European sea bass development, with a putative impact on reproduction and immune response, as well as regarding teleost vision and larval development.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Project: EC | FLEXOP (636307)
This article presents the application of aeroelastic tailoring in the design of wings for a flying demonstrator, as well as the validation of the design methodology with flight test results. The investigations were performed in the FLEXOP project (Flutter Free Flight Envelope Expansion for Economical Performance Improvement), funded under the Horizon 2020 framework. This project aimed at the validation of methods and tools for active flutter control, as well as at the demonstration of the potential of passive load alleviation through composite tailoring. The technologies were to be demonstrated by the design, manufacturing and flight testing of an unmanned aerial vehicle of approximately 7 m wingspan. This article addresses the work towards the load alleviation goals. The design of the primary load-carrying wing-box in this task is performed using a joint DLR–TU Delft optimization strategy. Two sets of wings are designed in order to demonstrate the potential benefits of aeroelastic tailoring—first, a reference wing in which the laminates of the wing-box members are restricted to balanced and symmetric laminates; second, a tailored wing in which the laminates are allowed to be unbalanced, hence allowing for the shear–extension and bending–torsion couplings essential for aeroelastic tailoring. Both designs are numerically optimized, then manufactured and extensively tested to validate and improve the simulation models corresponding to the wing designs. Flight tests are performed, the results of which form the basis for the validation of the applied aeroelastic tailoring approach presented in the article.
Air pollution exposure is harmful to human health and reducing it at the level of an individual requires measurements and assessments that capture the spatiotemporal variability of different microenvironments and the influence of specific activities. In this paper, activity-specific and general indoor and outdoor exposure during and after a period of high concentrations of particulate matter (PM), e.g., an atmospheric thermal inversion (ATI) in the Ljubljana subalpine basin, Slovenia, was assessed. To this end, personal particulate matter monitors (PPM) were used, worn by participants of the H2020 ICARUS sampling campaigns in spring 2019 who also recorded their hourly activities. ATI period(s) were determined based on data collected from two meteorological stations managed by the Slovenian Environmental Agency (SEA). Results showed that indoor and outdoor exposure to PM was significantly higher during the ATI period, and that the difference between mean indoor and outdoor exposure to PM was much higher during the ATI period (23.0 µg/m3) than after (6.5 µg/m3). Indoor activities generally were associated with smaller differences, with cooking and cleaning even having higher values in the post-ATI period. On the other hand, all outdoor activities had higher PM values during the ATI than after, with larger differences, mostly >30.0 µg/m3. Overall, this work demonstrated that an individual-level approach can provide better spatiotemporal resolution and evaluate the relative importance of specific high-exposure events, and in this way provide an ancillary tool for exposure assessments.
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