Category Archives: 2020 Vol 32 Dec

DETECTION OF QUINOLINE USING AMMONIA PLASMA-FUNCTIONALISED MULTI-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES AND APPLICATION TO REAL SAMPLES

Study on the growth of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) using plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) techniques has been carried out in this work. MWCNT screen-printed electrode (SPCE) based on silicon substrate was fabricated for quinoline detection using photolithography methods. The MWCNT working electrodes were modified under ammonia (NH3) plasma to enhance the surface sensitivity to detect quinoline. The electrocatalytic activity of modified electrode towards oxidation of quinoline was evaluated using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). Under experimental conditions, peak currents increased with an increase in the concentration of quinoline (dynamic range = 2.0 to 25.0 μM) and displayed good linearity (R2 = 0.9958). The limit of detection (LOD) was calculated to be 0.164 μM. The modified electrode was then applied to real samples sourced from both healthy and Ganoderma boninense infected oil palm roots crude extracts. A linear plot was obtained with a good linearity (R2 = 0.9879), indicating good sensing results.

BROMATOLOGICAL COMPOSITION OF PALM KERNEL MEAL ACCORDING TO ITS ORIGIN AND PRODUCTION PERIODS POTENTIAL USE OF PALM KERNEL MEAL IN ANIMAL FEED

Ecuador has a variety of agroindustrial by-products, which can be used in animal feed, although their nutritional values are often unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate bromatological composition of palm kernel cake (PKC) in samples from two palm oil extraction plants in two areas (Quevedo and Santo Domingo) and two production periods (August and September). Random samples were taken weekly with two repetitions for a total of 64 samples. Dry matter (DM), ash, organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), crude fibre (CF), nitrogen-free extract (NFE), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), calcium, phosphorus, crude energy (CE) and metabolisable energy (ME) were determined. OM (62.92%) and EE (10.10%) content were higher at the Quevedo plant, while CF (23.84%) and ADL (24.66%) were higher at the Santo Domingo plant. The sampling period affected DM (98.58%), CF (23.98%) and ADL (23.78%) content, which were higher in September, while EE (10.87%) and phosphorus (0.44%) were higher in August. For CP, NFE, NDF, ADF, ash, calcium, CE and ME, interaction was observed between the two factors studied. It was concluded that most of the parameters analysed depend on the place of origin or the extraction season, or interaction between the two factors.

EFFECTS OF DEEP-FRYING PALM OIL AND EXERCISE ON SPERM AND BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN MICE

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of deep-frying palm oil on a number of sperm and biochemical parameters with or without low (Ex1) and high-intensity (Ex2) swimming exercises. Mice (32 BALB/c type) were equally divided into four groups (control, palm oil, palm oil+Ex1 and palm oil+Ex2). The increase in epididymal fat weight in case of using palm oil was normalised in both exercises. The percentage of abnormal sperm increased in the palm oil and palm oil+Ex2 groups (p<0.01 and p<0.001 respectively) whilst there was not significant different from control group in palm oil+Ex1 groups. An increase in total cholesterol after palm oil was not reversed by either swimming exercises. The increased level of triglyceride in case of palm oil with heavy exercise was higher than the control (p>0.05), palm oil and palm oil +Ex1 groups (both p<0.05). The comparison to the control group showed that the increase in plasma MDA levels in palm oil and palm oil+Ex2 exercise groups were significantly higher (p<0.05 and p<0.01 respectively). In contrast, a significant increase (p<0.01) in testes MDA level after using palm oil was significantly reversed in both light and heavy exercise groups (p<0.001 and p<0.01 respectively).

POTENTIAL OIL PALM GENETIC MATERIALS DERIVED FROM INTROGRESSION OF GERMPLASM (MPOB-NIGERIA, MPOB-ZAIRE AND MPOB-CAMEROON ACCESSIONS) TO ADVANCED (AVROS) BREEDING POPULATION

The narrow genetic base of current oil palm planting materials is the main obstacle in oil palm breeding and population improvements. However, genetic variability can be widened through introgression of advanced materials with selected oil palm germplasm. Thus, tenera performance was evaluated from 14 tenera x pisifera involving MPOB-Nigeria (MPOB-NGA), MPOB-Cameroon (MPOB-CMR) and MPOB-Zaire (MPOB-ZRE) crosses with Algemene Vereniging van Rubberplanters ter Oostkust van Sumatra (AVROS) progenies. Analysis of variance between groups showed significant differences in fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield and its components, bunch quality components and most of the vegetative traits studied. Strong and positive correlations of FFB and oil to bunch (O/B) with oil yield (OY) suggested that oil yield can be improved by increasing FFB yield or O/B. Broad-sense heritability estimates varied from a low of 20.56% (FFB yield) to a high of 100% (shell to fruit ratio). Both PK 1858 (MPOB-ZRE x AVROS) and PK 1867 (MPOB-NGA x AVROS) progenies have been identified as potential sources of pisifera for selection due to their promising results in most of the desired traits.

PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND SENSORY EVALUATION OF FERMENTED AND ACIDIFIED MILK BEVERAGES IN MALAYSIAN MARKET-REFERENCE FOR PALM-BASED ACIDIFIED MILK BEVERAGE

In this study, 11 commercial samples in Malaysian market consisted of 10 fermented milk beverage and 1 acidified milk beverage were analysed for their proximate analysis, pH, titratable acidity (TA), brix, viscosity, colour, particle size and sensory evaluation. This study was conducted to get an overview on the physicochemical properties and sensory evaluation of the fermented and acidified milk beverages in order to produce palm-based acidified milk beverage. Energy content of these samples were ranged between 33.50-73.00 kcal/100 g. Fat, carbohydrate and protein contents were ranged between 0.00-2.54 g/100 g, 7.52-15.75 g/100 g and 1.98-2.10 g/100 g, respectively. All of the commercial samples were observed to be insignificant in sugar and ash content. pH, TA and brix of the samples varied from 3.50%-4.20%, 0.27%- 0.72% and 9.40-18.90°B, accordingly. Colour (L*, a* and b*) varied significantly among the commercial samples. Viscosity and particle size were ranged between 0.022-0.063 Pa.s and 0.45-20.11 μm, respectively. Preferred sample based on sensory evaluation was commercial sample D (fermented). The characteristics of commercial samples B, D and E can be used as guidelines in formulating palm-based acidified milk beverage.

SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES AMONG THE INDEPENDENT OIL PALM SMALLHOLDERS IN BETONG AND SARATOK, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

Soil and water conservation practices (SWC) which are included in the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for oil palm production are essential to be adopted by oil palm growers in order to maintain the quality of natural resources and adhere to the environmental conservation. At present, no scientific study has been carried out to indicate the level of knowledge and adoption of SWC among the independent oil palm smallholders (ISH). This study was aimed to evaluate the knowledge and current adoption of SWC among members of the Saratok Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperative. The quantitative and qualitative research methods applied to evaluate the level of SWC knowledge and adoption by oil palm smallholders were based on the checklist in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO). The data collected were via in-situ observation and face-to-face interviews with respondents. The results of the study indicated that the level of smallholders’ knowledge on SWC practices is high, however, the adoption level is still low. Recommendations based on the research affirmed that incentive/assistance scheme from the government is necessary to help and encourage ISH and the MSPO certification becomes mandatory for the cooperatives to ensure that the SWC is adopted by ISH for their long-term benefit.

GAMMA-TOCOTRIENOL DOES NOT COMPETE WITH MITOXANTRONE TO BE EFFLUXED FROM ABCG2 OVEREXPRESSING CELLS

The human ATP-binding cassette (ABC) subfamily G2 (ABCG2) half transporter of the G-subfamily that is involved in transportation of an extensive range of substrates, including xenobiotics and endogenous compounds. ABCG2 transporter upregulation in many cancerous tissues is often linked to multiple drug resistance (MDR) due to its involvement in efflux of various drugs. Gamma-tocotrienol (γT3) is an isoform of vitamin E that possesses promising anti-cancer effects via various mechanisms, however transportation of γT3 remains unknown and its therapeutic effects might be limited by MDR. This project thus sought to study the anti-cancer effect (i.e. anti-proliferative effect) of γT3 in an ABCG2-expressing breast cancer cell line (MCF7-MX) and the possibility of γT3 to be transported via ABCG2 transporter. It was demonstrated that after 72 hr treatment with γT3, cell proliferation of MCF7-MX cells was inhibited with IC50=43 μM. The co-administration of γT3 with mitoxantrone (MX), a substrate of ABCG2, has shown that γT3 is not a competitor for MX transport (p>0.05). The data confirms the anti-proliferative role of γT3 in ABCG2 expressing cells and suggests that ABCG2 might have a minimal role in γT3 transport. This result provides an essential basis for the further study of γT3 as an anti-cancer compound.

SHORT COMMUNICATION: OPTIMISATION OF THE BOMBARDMENT PARAMETERS FOR TRANSFORMATION AND REGENERATION OF STABLE OIL PALM TRANSFORMANTS

Genetic transformation approaches by using particle bombardment have been an integral part in efforts to improve palm oil quality. The bombardment parameters were previously evaluated to efficiently deliver deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) during bombardment. However, the evaluation was carried out at transient stage and therefore the results may not be very precise. In order to improve the DNA delivery and regeneration of the oil palm carrying transgenes, a study at stable stage was performed and discussed in this paper. Oil palm embryogenic calli were bombarded at several parameters using pAHC25 plasmid. Selection on media containing 1 mg litre-1 of bialaphos was initiated after one month of bombardment. Then, the concentration of bialaphos was increased to 2 mg litre-1 and subsequently to 3 mg litre-1 to effectively eliminate the regeneration of untransformed cells. Generated shoots were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. The best bombardment condition was determined based on the highest number of shoots carrying the transgene. The bombardment at 1100 psi helium pressure with 7.5 cm distance between stopping plate to tissue and one time bombardment using 2.0 μg DNA per bombardment was obtained as the best condition for DNA delivery and also minimised tissue damage. Hence, the results of this study will be useful as a guideline to generate transformed oil palm.

POTENTIAL OF FEEDING CRUDE PALM OIL AND CO-PRODUCTS OF PALM OIL MILLING ON LAYING HENS` PERFORMANCE AND EGG QUALITY: A REVIEW

Crude palm oil (CPO) and the main co-products of palm oil milling, namely palm kernel cake (PKC) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) have considerable potential nutritive value for laying hens. This review was conducted to study the effect of CPO, PKC and POME as feed ingredients on growth performance of laying hens and egg quality traits. CPO provides high caloric levels, and its inclusion in laying rations enhances the absorption of oil-soluble vitamins. High carotenoids (500-700 ppm) content in CPO improves egg quality by increasing the fatty acid content and colour intensity of egg yolk. Laying hens can tolerate up to 20%-30% PKC in the diet with no adverse effects on growth performance or egg quality traits. POME can be used as a feed ingredient for laying hens, and the recommended optimal level of inclusion is 10% of the total ration. However, due to high levels of fibrous matter in PKC and POME, further biotechnology treatments are needed for better utilisation in laying hens’ rations to yield optimum egg production. Replacement of the conventional feed ingredient in the laying ration with PKC and POME were found to be cost-effective in improving layer performance and egg quality.

INFLUENCE OF SULPHURIC ACID CONCENTRATION ON THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF MICROFIBRILLATED CELLULOSE FROM OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH FIBRE

The interest for microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has been present within the academic sector since the 1980s, but recently this material has become commercially available as it is growing significantly in the industrial sector. Therefore, in this study the oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre was selected to be synthesised into MFC. This study focused on the effect of acid concentrations on the isolation of MFC from oil palm empty fruit bunch fibre (OPEFB-fibre) using the acid hydrolysis method, followed by ultrasonication. The important parameter studied was the concentration of sulphuric acid (10% to 40%) while reaction time and temperature were kept constant. The resulting MFC was analysed using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), x-ray diffractometer (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Based on the FTIR results, it was found that the structure of cellulose was retained after undergoing the acid hydrolysis process. The highest thermal stability was obtained when MFC was treated with 20% H2SO4 which was determined by using TGA. The XRD method was used to study the structural property of the MFC and the result showed that the MFC produced had 60% of crystallinity index. The morphological features were identified using SEM. The results showed that the particle size of MFC ranged between 10 μm to 200 μm. As a result, the parameters used tend to influence the physico-chemical properties of MFC produced and it has the potential to facilitate filler increase in wood free papers industry.

CODE OF GOOD MILLING PRACTICE IN ENHANCING SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL PRODUCTION

Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) are continuously being produced throughout the year, hence the mill also needs to operate continuously to process them. Compared to other oil crops, oil palm is more productive and produces the highest oil yield per hectare. However, like any other industry, palm oil processing can also have adverse impact on the environment. Therefore, this article focuses on the operation of palm oil mill by addressing the impact on quality, food safety and some sustainability elements as measurable parameters when gauging the impacts of the processing operation. This article also emphasises the implementation of Malaysian Palm Oil Board Code of Good Milling Practices (MPOB CoPM) as a guideline for the mills in readiness for sustainability certification under Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO)/ Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Under sustainability, the three well-established elements will be examined and they are environmental protection, social responsibility and economic practice. The palm oil processing plant should produce palm oil that can be classified as sustainable palm oil, otherwise it may not be able to enjoy global marketability.

STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION OF OIL PALM MESOCARP FIBRE (OPMF) IN WATER AT SUBCRITICAL STATE

Effect of subcritical water (sub-CW) on oil palm mesocarp fibre (OPMF) structure and cellulose conversion to obtain useful components was studied to reduce production of mesocarp fibre as waste in excessive amount. The decomposition of OPMF was carried out at temperatures ranging from 200°C-300°C and with a constant reaction time of 5 min using a batch stainless-steel tube reactor (reactor volume: 7.3 cm3). The pressure inside reactor was equal to the saturated vapour pressure at the experimental temperature. Microscope images indicated sub-CW broke down the OPMF walls becoming smaller particles. Scanning electron microcopy (SEM) images showed that the particle size of OPMF was highly porous when treated at 240°C but was disrupted when treated above 250°C. From sugar analysis using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the highest amount of monosaccharides was 22.2 mg g-1-dry OPMF at 240°C. The yield of sugar was reduced to 2.5 mg g-1-dry OPMF at 300°C as cellulose and hemicellulose were degraded due to pyrolysis. The particle size of OPMF, when subjected to sub-CW, showed a good relationship with the yield of sugars. The OPMF particle became disrupted above 260°C due to the pyrolysis activity. The solid residue from OPMF was reduced significantly using sub-CW.

EXTRACTION AND CHARACTERISATION OF CELLULOSE FROM THE RESIDUE OF OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH-XYLAN EXTRACTION

Cellulosic solid residual, which is the by-product of oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB)-xylan extraction process, was evaluated in terms of cellulose recovery by eco-friendly approach. The OPEFB-fibre was initially treated with alkaline for xylan extraction. The resulting solid residue was dried before treated with mild concentration of bleaching agents of 20% (v/v) formic acid and 5% (v/v) hydrogen peroxide at 85°C for the extraction of cellulose. α-cellulose content of 84.16±0.4% was achieved. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis showed that the products obtained have the standard cellulose structure and functional group. The crystalline nature of the extracted cellulose, as proven by X-ray diffractometer (XRD) has crystallinity index and crystalline size of 54.4% and 5.5 nm, respectively, whereas the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicates the sample purity in terms of thermal stability at 370°C by comparing the results to commercially available cellulose. Meanwhile, scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation showed that the extracted cellulose morphology is in the form of separated fibrils. In terms of impurities, trace elemental analysis showed the presence of phosphorus (P) as the major element but the quantity of fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), iodine (I) and sulphur (S) detected on the cellulose was insignificant.

ECOTOXICOLOGICAL BEHAVIOUR OF POORLY WATER SOLUBLE FATTY ALCOHOL ETHOXYLATES IN FRESHWATER ENVIRONMENT

Fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAEO) are widely used for a wide range of applications. Due to their excessive and widespread use, the ecotoxicological behaviour of FAEO in aquatic environment is crucial in managing the environmental sustainability. The objective of this study is to determine the ecotoxicology behaviour, i.e. biodegradation and ecotoxicity, of poorly water soluble lauryl alcohol ethoxylates (C12) with different ethoxylate numbers (EO), i.e. EO3, EO5, EO6, EO7 and EO10. For ecotoxicity test, OECD 209, activated sludge, respiration inhibition test method was used. This method was selected as a rapid screening test to identify substances that have unfavourable influence on microorganisms in sewage treatment plant and also to identify non-inhibitory concentration of test substances applicable for biodegradation test. Meanwhile, the biodegradation test was performed using OECD 301C, MITI (I) (Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Japan) test method. The biodegradability of this surfactant was monitored for 28 days. The results of OECD 209 showed only FAEO (EO3) with a maximum concentration of 1000 mg litre-1 inhibited more than 50% respiration of activated sludge, while other FAEO samples inhibited less than 50% after 3 hr of exposure. The 3-hr of half maximal effective concentration (EC50) for FAEO (EO3) for activated sludge was 423 mg litre-1 while, for other FAEO samples was > 1000 mg litre-1. The toxicity effect decreased with increasing EO number. For biodegradation test, the results indicated that FAEO were readily biodegraded in OECD 301C where their biodegradability surpassed the 60% pass level as stated in the standard method and can be considered as readily biodegradable in the environment. As the EO chain length increased, the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) of FAEO tended to increase while the hydrophobicity tended to decrease. The reduction in hydrophobicity level increases its solubility in water, thus promotes rapid biodegradation in aquatic environment.

THE STATUS OF Oryctes rhinoceros Nudivirus (OrNV) INFECTION IN Oryctes rhinoceros (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) IN INDONESIA

Oryctes rhinoceros is a major problem on oil palm in Indonesia, especially during replanting. Oryctes rhinoceros Nudivirus (OrNV) is a virus that infects both larvae and adults of O. rhinoceros. An extensive survey of OrNV infection on O. rhinoceros in Indonesia has not been conducted. The objective of the research is to identify the rate of OrNV infection in its host from various sampling sites in Indonesia. Adults and larvae of O. rhinoceros were collected from Sumatra, Belitung, Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Infected larvae were determined by their physical character, i.e. prolapsed rectum, while infected adults were determined by dissection to observe the swollen midguts. The incidence of OrNV infection in larvae was difficult to estimate, as only 11 out of 417 larvae showed prominent symptoms. OrNV infection rates in adults O. rhinoceros in oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Belitung and Kalimantan were between 64% and 90%, and female O. rhinoceros could still produce eggs even when they were infected by OrNV. In Sulawesi and Java, which are not major oil palm plantation centres, OrNV infection rates were below 16%. It is suspected that most of the O. rhinoceros population from areas intensively cultivated with oil palm is persistently or latently infected by OrNV and the beetles remain fertile.

TRANSCRIPTOMICS OF MICRODISSECTED STAMINODES AND EARLY DEVELOPING CARPELS FROM FEMALE INFLORESCENCES OF Elaeis guineensis

In an abnormal female inflorescence from a mantled clonal palm, the male reproductive organs develop into pseudocarpels. Transcriptomes of microdissected male and female reproductive organs in a normal inflorescence were thus compared to identify genes that were differentially expressed during the normal development of these two reproductive organs. Besides the increased expression of stamen identity MADS- box genes EgDEF1, EgGLO1 and EgGLO2 in male reproductive organs, NAC and homeodomain leucine- zipper type of transcription factors were also upregulated. Male reproductive organ development may be associated with increased ethylene and decreased bioactive gibberellin levels inferred from the increased expression levels of ACC OXIDASE and GA 2-OXIDASE genes. This expression pattern may be important for the impending developmental arrest of the staminodes as they do not develop into stamens. Early carpel development occurred in conjunction with increased expression of the floral meristem identity LEAFY and organ boundary specification CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON 2 (CUC2) genes. Hence, genes important for male reproductive organ development and early carpel development were identified using precise isolation of specific reproductive organs.