Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Food Science and Technology (Campinas)]]> vol. 35 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Physicochemical properties, modifications and applications of starches from different botanical sources]]> Present trends towards technologies and processes that increase the use of residues make starchy vegetal biomass an important alternative material in various applications due to starch’s versatility, low cost and ease of use when its physicochemical properties are altered. Starch is increasingly used in many industrial applications and as a renewable energy resource. Starch can be modified to enhance its positive attributes and eliminate deficiencies in its native characteristics. In this article, the state of knowledge on conventional and unconventional starches and their properties, characteristics, modifications and applications are reviewed. <![CDATA[Comparison between aroma compounds in wines from four <em>Vitis vinifera</em> grape varieties grown in different shoot positions]]> The aroma characteristics of wines from four Vitis vinifera grape varieties (‘Cabernet sauvignon’, ‘Merlot’, ‘Chardonnay’, and ‘Italian Riesling’) grown in three shoot positions were evaluated by HS-SPME-GC/MS. In this study, the numerous significant differences found in most of the aromatic compounds influence of different shoot positions on the quality of wine. The results showed that the middle shoot position increased significantly the aroma concentration in the majority of wines investigated. The volatile components showing the greatest differences in the wines of different cultivars were aldehydes and terpenes. 8 and 11 compounds were found and quantified (OAVs&gt;1) in the two red wines and white wines at concentrations higher than their corresponding odor thresholds, respectively; and therefore they significantly contributed to the wine aromas. According to their OAVs, fruity, floral, cheese and fatty aroma strongly influenced the characteristics of the four monovarietal wines, while the two white wines showed the green and fresh aroma characteristics. These results are related to the different microclimate of the canopies of the different shoot positions and varieties. They suggest that proper elevating the fruiting zones could improve the accumulation of aroma compounds in wines from the different varieties. On the other hand, grapevines trained to systems with uniform fruiting zones could improve the quality of wine. <![CDATA[Production of phycobiliproteins by <em>Arthrospira platensis</em> under different lightconditions for application in food products]]> There has been an increase in investment in research on new sources of natural pigments for food application. Some cyanobacteria can change the structures responsible for light harvesting and cellular processes according to the wavelength and light intensity. This phenomenon has been described as complementary chromatic adaptation. The present study aimed to investigate the growth of Arthrospira platensis using different light qualities, irradiance, and wavelength by evaluating the production of biomass, proteins, and phycobiliproteins. The occurrence of the chromatic adaptation phenomenon in this cyanobacterium was also investigated. The microorganism used in this study, A. platensis, was grown in a Zarrouk medium under three irradiance levels, 50, 100, and 150 μmol fotons.m–2.s–1 with illumination provided by white and green fluorescent lamps. The condition of 150 µmol fotons.m–2.s–1 white light was the one that promoted the highest biomass production of A. platensis cultures (2115.24 mg.L–1). There was no difference in the production of total protein and total phycobiliproteins under the studied conditions. It is likely that the large supply of nitrogen in the Zarrouk medium was sufficient for cell growth and maintenance, and it supplied the production of accessory pigments composed of protein. Finally, there was no evidence of the complementary chromatic adaptation phenomenon in A. platensis cultivated under green light. Moreover, this condition did not increase phycocyanin production. <![CDATA[Chemical composition and radical scavenging activity of melanin from <em>Auricularia auricula</em> fruiting bodies]]> Melanin extracted from Auricularia auricula fruiting bodies (AAFB) was examined by element analyzer, amino acid analyzer, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Elemental composition analysis revealed that main component of AAFB melanin was pheomelanin. Amino acid analysis showed that 16 amino acids were found in AAFB melanin and total amino acid content was 321. 63 mg/g. There were 13 detectable metal elements in AAFB melanin, which was rich in Ca, Fe, Cu and Zn. In addition, AAFB melanin exhibited stronger scavenging activities on 2,2-diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, superoxide radical and hydroxyl radical with IC50 values of 0.18, 0.59 and 0.34 mg/mL, respectively. These results indicated that AAFB melanin might be potentially used as a natural antioxidant. <![CDATA[Antimicrobial activity of <em>amurca</em> (olive oil lees) extract against selected foodborne pathogens]]> The antimicrobial activity of a methanolic extract of amurca (olive oil lees) was determined against both Gram-positive (L. monocytogenes and S. aureus) and Gram-negative (E. coli O157:H7 and S. enteritidis) foodborne pathogens at 10 °C or 37 °C using microdilution and disk diffusion methods, and its relative activity was compared to selected antibiotics. Minimum inhibitory (MIC) and minimum bactericidal (MBC) concentrations of amurca extract ranged from 60 to 80 µl/ml at 37 °C after 24 h against all tested strains. At 10 °C, amurca was more inhibitory with MIC and MBC values of 40 and 60 µl/ml, respectively, after 7 d against tested strains. Amurca at 40 µl/ml reduced numbers of tested pathogens by 2.5 to 3.2 log10 CFU/ml at 10 °C after 7 d, but was not inhibitory at 37 °C after 24 h. Protein prepared from amurca was not antimicrobial. The relative antimicrobial activity (inhibition zone ratio) of 80 µl/ml amurca methanolic extract compared to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamycin and tetracycline ranged from 0.36 to 1.0 against Gram-negative and from 0.45 to 2.0 against Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, amurca extract inhibited E. coli O157:H7 02-0628 and S. aureus 26127 which were resistant to tetracycline and chloramphenicol, respectively. <![CDATA[Biochemical changes and color properties of fresh-cut green bean (<strong><em>Phaseolus vulgaris </em>L. cv.gina</strong>) treated with calcium chloride during storage]]> Calcium chloride is widely used in industries as a firming agent, and also to extend shelf-life of vegetables. The aim of this study was to determine, the effect of different doses of calcium chloride on biochemical and color properties of fresh-cut green bean. Fresh-cut green beans were dipped for 90 seconds in 0.5%, 1%, 2% and 3% solution of calcium chloride at 25°C. The fresh-cut green bean samples were packaged in polystyrene foam dishes, wrapped with stretch film and stored in a cold room at 5±1°C temperature and 85-90% RH. Calcium chloride treatments did not retain the green color of samples. Whiteness index, browning index and total color difference (ΔE) values of CaCl2 treated samples were high. Saturation index and hue angle were low compared to the control, especially at higher doses of CaCl2. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzyme activity in samples treated with CaCl2 at 3% doses, was low at the 7th days of storage than with other treatments. Fructose and sucrose content of samples increased in all treatment groups whereas glucose level decreased during the first 4th days of storage. <![CDATA[Influence of the wheat flour extraction degree in the quality of bread made with high proportions of β-glucan]]> β-glucan is currently one of the most important bioactive substances. Hence, there is a growing interest in the production of various foods containing β-glucan. The study examines the influence of the degree of wheat flour extraction in the quality of breads with high β-glucan content. Rheological tests were conducted on dough. Volume, mass, color and texture of bread were measured after baking. We observed that increasing the degree of extraction caused an increase in the storage and loss modulus. All of the bread made from the different flours were smaller in volume after the addition of β-glucan, although the yield increased. The crumb color of β-glucan-added breads was darker than the control samples. Control samples were higher in textural parameters (firmness, gumminess and chewiness). β-glucan-added samples had decreased porosity. The results revealed that using very strong flour with a high protein content results in a high quality β-glucan bread with a higher nutritional value due to the high total dietary fiber and β-glucan content. <![CDATA[Bioactive compounds in different cocoa (<em>Theobroma cacao</em>, L) cultivars during fermentation]]> One component that contribute to the flavor and aroma of chocolate are the polyphenols, which have received much attention due to their beneficial implications to human health. Besides bioactive action, polyphenols and methylxantines are responsible for astringency and bitterness in cocoa beans. Another important point is its drastic reduction during cocoa processing for chocolate production and the difference between cultivars. Thus, the present study aimed to evaluate the modifications in monomeric phenolic compounds and methylxanthines during fermentation of three cocoa cultivars grown in southern Bahia. Cocoa beans from three cultivars were fermented and sun dried and monomeric phenolic compounds and methylxantines were determinated. The results showed that each cultivar have different amounts of phenolic compounds and the behaviour of them is different during fermentation. The amount of methylxantines varied but there was not a pattern for methylxantines behavior during process. In addition a huge reduction in phenolic compounds could be observed after drying. Differently of phenolic compounds, methylxantines did not have great modification after sun drying. So, the differences observed in this study between cultivars, take to the conclusion that the compounds studied in those cocoa cultivars have different behavior during fermentation and drying, which consequently, give to these cultivars differences in sensory characteristics. <![CDATA[Sensory descriptors of cocoa beans from cultivated trees of Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico]]> The odor and taste profile of cocoa bean samples obtained from trees cultivated in southern Mexico were evaluated by trained panelists. Seven representative samples (groups) of a total of 45 were analyzed. Four attributes of taste (sweetness, bitterness, acidity and astringency), and nine of odor (chocolate, nutty, hazelnut, sweet, acidity, roasted, spicy, musty and off-odor) were evaluated. A sample (G7) with higher scores in sweet taste and sweet and nutty odors was detected, as well as a high association between these descriptors and the sample, analyzed through principal component analysis (PCA). Similarly, samples that showed high scores for non-desired odors in cocoas such as off-odor and musty were identified and related by PCA to roasted odor and astringent taste (G2 and G4). Based on this scores, the samples were listed in descending order by their sensory quality as G7&gt; G5&gt; G6&gt; G3&gt; G1&gt; G4&gt; G2. <![CDATA[Chemical markers and antifungal activity of red propolis from Sergipe, Brazil]]> The aim of this study was to analyze the physicochemical properties and antifungal activities of the red propolis samples from Sergipe, Brazil, and also evaluate their variability throughout the year. The characterization of the hydroalcoholic extract (HPE) of the red propolis samples was performed monthly from October 2009 to September 2010. The concentrations of the bioactive compounds varied during the year, but their chromatographic profiles were similar. Four compounds were identified by comparison with authentic standards. Formononetin was one of the predominant compounds in all propolis extracts. In our study, it was observed that all the propolis samples inhibited the growth of Candida species. Multivariate analysis confirmed the variations in chemical composition and color of the HPEs throughout the year. The biological activities of the HPEs were statistically significant (p&lt;0.05), and all samples exhibited antifungal properties. <![CDATA[<em>Aloe vera</em> extract as a promising treatment for the quality maintenance of minimally-processed table grapes]]> The effect of an edible film obtained from a commercial Aloe vera extract, on the quality maintenance of minimally processed grapes belonging to three different cultivars (Sugar One, Victoria and Black Magic) was evaluated by enzymatic (PPO, PME, β-GAL), physicochemical (pH, acidity, °Brix), and sensorial methods. All the analyzed parameters were measured in extracts obtained from minimally processed grapes packaged in ordinary atmosphere and stored at 4 °C for 15 days. Samples dipped into Aloe vera showed significant differences (p≤0.05) compared to untreated ones. The determination of such parameters and the evaluation of consumer acceptability were helpful to determine the effectiveness of the post-harvest treatment with Aloe vera for a storage period of 15 days. <![CDATA[Application of extruded broken bean flour for formulation of gluten-free cake blends]]> The aim of this study was to determine the physical and microbiological characteristics of extruded broken beans flour, in addition to developing mixtures for gluten-free cake with these flours, evaluating their technological and sensory quality. Gluten-free formulations were prepared with 45%, 60% and 75% of extruded broken beans. All analyzes of the flours and mixtures for cakes were performed according to standard techniques found in the literature. Sensory analyzes of cakes applied the 9-point structured hedonic scale. Results were submitted to variance analysis and comparison of means test (Tukey, p&lt;0.05). The use of extruded broken beans improved the water absorbed and water solubility index of the mixtures for gluten-free cake, and for the lower viscosity and retrogradation when compared to the standard formulation. All cakes were accepted (rate ≥ 7) for all the analyzed attributes. From the technological and sensory standpoints, the development of gluten-free cake mixtures is feasible with up to 75% of extruded broken beans. <![CDATA[Adsorption capacity of phenolic compounds onto cellulose and xylan]]> The interaction between three phenolic compounds (catechin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid) onto two dietary fibres (cellulose and xylan) has been evaluated to inquire possible interferences on the biodisponibility of phenolic compounds. The adsorption kinetics were performed using solutions containing 100 mg/L of phenolic compounds during a contact time ranging between 10 and 120 minutes at pH 2.0, 4.5, and 7.0. After the kinetics, isotherms were obtained using phenolic compounds concentration ranging between 10 and 80 mg/L during 60 minutes, at pH 2.0 and 7.0 and temperature of 36 °C. Results indicate that adsorbed quantities mainly changed in function of pH, however the maximum adsorption was only of 0.978 mg of caffeic acid/g of xylan at pH 2 and after 60 min. Redlich-Peterson model were able to predict the adsorption isotherms of all phenolic compounds onto cellulose, except for caffeic acid at pH 7.0. The low adsorption capacities observed suggest that both dietary fibres are unable to compromise the biodisponibility of phenolic compounds, especially in the small intestine, where they are partially absorbed. <![CDATA[Characterization of a hydrolyzed oil obtained from fish waste for nutraceutical application]]> The fish industry generates high volume of waste from fish oil that can have the extraction of its lipids used as nutraceuticals and foods. The objective of this study was to produce unsaturated fatty acids from industrialized fish oil by means of a differentiated hydrolysis process. The samples used were crude fish oil obtained from Campestre industry and characterized through physical-chemical parameters, according to AOCS: acidity, peroxide, saponification, iodine and percentage of free fatty acids and also obtained the fatty acid profile through derivatization method for gas chromatography. The results obtained for the oleochemical indices for refined oil were similar to the data found on the literature. The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was found of 32,78%, with 9,12% of docosahexaenoic (DHA) and 10,36% of eicosapentaenoic (EPA), regarding monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) content was of 30,59% in the hydrolyzed fish oil in relation to refined (20,06%). Thus, it can be concluded that the hydrolysis process used for oils from fish-waste was satisfactory on the production of absolute yield of lipids in the process and significant preservation on the percentages of EPA and DHA, interesting on the production of nutraceuticals and nutrition of aquatic animals, including shrimp in captivity. <![CDATA[Annatto seed residue (<em>Bixa orellana</em> L.): nutritional quality]]> Considering that annatto seeds are rich in protein, the present work aimed to evaluate the biological quality of this nutrient in the meal residue originating from annatto seed processing. We determined the general composition, mineral levels, amino acid composition and chemical scores, antinutritional factors, and protein quality using biological assays. The following values were obtained: 11.50% protein, 6.74% moisture, 5.22% ash, 2.22% lipids, 42.19% total carbohydrates and 28.45% fiber. The residue proved to be a food rich in fiber and also a protein source. Antinutritional factors were not detected. The most abundant amino acids were lysine, phenylalanine + tyrosine, leucine and isoleucine. Valine was the most limiting amino acid (chemical score 0.22). The protein quality of the seed residue and the isolated protein showed no significant differences. The biological value was lower than that of the control protein but higher than that found in other vegetables. Among the biochemical analyses, only creatinine level was decreased in the two test groups compared to the control group. Enzyme tests did not indicate liver toxicity. The results showed favorable aspects for the use of annatto seed residue in the human diet, meriting further research. <![CDATA[Physicochemical and antioxidative properties of black, brown and red rice varieties of northern Thailand]]> Rice, the seed of Oryza species, is the major cereal crop in most of the developing countries. Nearly 95% of global rice production is done in Asian countries, and about half of the world’s population consumes it. Some speciality rices are not commonly consumed. Colored rice is one of such variety. In these varieties, high amounts of anthocyanin pigment are deposited in the rice coat to form its black (also known as purple), brown and red colors. Minimum studies are there to explain the properties of these rice varieties of Thailand. Thus, the current study was aimed to assess the physicochemical and antioxidative properties of three rice varieties (Chiang Mai Black rice, Mali Red rice and Suphanburi-1 Brown rice) of different cultivars of northern Thailand. Rice bran extracts of these three cultivars were prepared with different solvents (polar and non-polar) for the evaluation of total phytochemical content and anti-oxidant free-radical-scavenging properties. Chiang Mai Black rice contained higher concentration of phenolic acid, flavonoids, and anthocyanins (Cyanidin 3-glucoside, peonidin 3-glucoside, cyanidin chloride). Chiang Mai Black rice is richer in free-radical-scavenging compounds and activities than the other tested varieties. Polar extractions of rice bran are high in anti-oxidative compounds and activities than non-polar extractions. <![CDATA[Fish consumption preferences and factors influencing it]]> Fish consumption preferences are affected by individuals’ socioeconomic characteristics. The aims of the present paper were (i) to obtain information on fish consumption level and frequency; (ii) to investigate the associations between the socioeconomic characteristics of consumers and their preferences; and (iii) to examine the influence of determinants on fish consumption. Data were gathered through a questionnaire completed by a total of 127 randomly selected individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds from the Antakya, Turkey. The average consumption was found to be 2.98 kg/person/year for fish. Anchovies, gilt-head sea bream, and sea bass were reported as the most consumed three species, respectively. Significant differences in fish consumption were found among age groups, gender groups, and education groups, as well as between marital statuses. A majority of the consumers eat fish once a month throughout the year or only during the winter months. Fish consumption level and frequency were significantly positively correlated with education (p&lt;0.01), income (p&lt;0.05) and total meat consumption (p&lt;0.01). The stepwise multiple regression model explained 41.7% (p&lt;0.01) of the total variance for fish consumption. The amount and frequency of the consumption in the region, which is very far below the world and Turkey average especially for lower socioeconomic groups and for less-consumed fish species, can be increased by certain policies, such as training, advertising and different marketing strategies. Moreover, consumption should be distributed equally throughout the year instead of consuming only in certain seasons. <![CDATA[Determination of some quality properties of marinated sea bream (S<em>parus Aurata</em> L., 1758) during cold storage]]> In this study, it was aimed to determine the effect of sea bream (Sparus aurata) marinated some quality properties during cold storage. The fillets of fish were immersed into brine including 3.5% acetic acid 11% salt in the ratio of 1: 1.5 (fish: marinate brine) for marination process. After the process of ripening, samples were grouped into two and packed in plastic containers; one being plain (in sunflower oil) and the other being sauced (sauced prepared with sunflower oil). During storage, sensory, crude protein, lipid, dry matter and crude ash, TBA, TVB-N, TMA-N and peroxide analyses were done periodically. According to results of 200 days of storage, TVB-N values of sea bream marinates packaged as plain and sauced were 15.86/14.89 mg/100g, TBA 7.06/7.99 mg MA/kg, TMA-N 2.97/3.12, mg/100g, the value of peroxide was 7.23/7.45 meq/kg respectively. According to chemical and sensory analyses results obtained in the study; it was concluded that sea bream marinates packaged as plain and sauced can be stored in +4 °C for 200 days. <![CDATA[Optimization of the extraction process of polyphenols from cashew apple agro-industrial residues]]> The goal of this study was to determine the chemical composition of cashew apples agro-industrial residue and optimize the process of polyphenols extraction in this residue. The extraction process conditions were defined using a 24-1 fractional factorial experimental design using acetone and methanol as solvents. The independent variables were: time (30 to 90 min), temperature (30 to 50 °C), solvent concentrations (50% to 90%), agitation speed (100 to 300 rpm); the dependent variables were: total phenolic content and DPPH scavenging capacity. The optimized process was carried out by applying the Central Composite Rotational Design (CCRD) considering the results obtained with the 24-1 fractional factorial experimental design. The residue presented bioactive compounds in its composition, with emphasis on the content of total phenolic compounds (1975.64 mg/ 100 g). The extraction process was not affected by methanol; however, acetone affected the amounts of extracted phytochemicals. Extracts with high levels of polyphenols and strong DPPH scavenging capacity (&gt; 80%) were obtained using 55% acetone, 30 minutes, 30 °C, and 150 rpm. The results showed that cashew apple residue is a potential natural source of bioactive compounds with strong antioxidant capacity. These compounds could be used partially or totally to replace synthetic antioxidants. <![CDATA[Physical, chemical and sensory properties of gluten-free <em>kibbeh</em> formulated with millet flour (<em>Pennisetum glaucum</em> (L.) R. Br.)]]> Pearl millet flour was utilized in kibbeh formulations instead of whole-wheat flour. Physicochemical properties, oxidation stability and sensorial characteristics of control kibbeh made with whole-wheat flour (CT) were compared with kibbehs prepared with millet flour (roasted or wet) and stored for 90 days (–18 °C). Kibbeh prepared with millet flour presented good oxidation stability (TBARS concentration). Baked kibbehs (with roasted millet flour) presented good acceptability and kibbeh samples did not differ significantly (p &gt; 0.05) from the whole-wheat flour sample, when global appearance, texture and flavor were evaluated. Millet flour could be a suitable ingredient for kibbeh formulations, maintaining their nutritional value and sensorial quality in addition to being a gluten-free product. <![CDATA[Quality changes during frozen storage of blue shrimp (<em>Litopenaeus stylirostris</em>) with antioxidant, α-tocopherol, under different conditions]]> Fresh blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) muscle was stored with antioxidants under different conditions: ANTIOX 2%, packed in bilayer film of polyamide-low density polyethylene film (PA-LDPE) with 2% α-tocopherol; ANTIOX 4%, packed in PA-LDPE film with 4% α-tocopherol; and ANTIOX-GLAZED, samples stored glazed with 2% α-tocopherol. Shrimps packed in PA-LDPE without α-tocopherol were used as CONTROL. All samples were stored at –20 °C for 120 days. As compared to the CONTROL, the shrimp stored with the antioxidant showed lower lipid oxidation (0.10-0.14 vs 1.58 mgMA/kg of muscle), lost less firmness and astaxanthin content. ANTIOX 2% and ANTIOX-GLAZED showed the lowest concentrations of formaldehyde (0.081-0.083 μM/g). There were no significant differences in color and sensory properties, but differences in the integrity of the muscle fibers were observed. The treatments with α-tocopherol maintained the shrimp muscle quality during frozen storage. However, no significant differences were found between these treatments. <![CDATA[Evaluation of Petrifilm™ system compared with traditional methodology in count of indicators of sanitary-hygienic quality and pathogenic microorganisms in sheep milk]]> The objective of this study was to evaluate the applicability of the Petrifilm™ plates to enumerate microbial groups in sheep milk. Samples of sheep milk (n = 30) were plated simultaneously, to enumerate mesophilic aerobes, total coliforms, lactic acid bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, using convencional reference protocols and Petrifilm™ plates. The results were compared using McNemar's test, linear regression and ANOVA (p &lt; 0,05). The results demonstrated good significant between conventional methodologies and Petrifilm™ plates. Further, the Petrifim™ STX for counting S. aureus had higher recoverability of bacteria compared with the conventional methodology. Based on the results obtained and in view of the ease and rapidity procedures results, Petrifim ™ plates may be considered as alternatives for microbiological testing in sheep milk. <![CDATA[Antioxidant activities and lutein content of 11 marigold cultivars (<em>Tagetes</em> spp.) grown in Thailand]]> Antioxidant activities and total phenolic content (TPC) were analyzed in ethanol extracts of 11 marigold cultivars grown in Thailand. Antioxidant activity assays performed in this study were the 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical cation scavenging activity, ferric ion reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, oxygen radical absorbance activity (ORAC), and superoxide anion radical scavenging activity (SRSA) assays. ‘Optiva Orange’ showed the best activity in the ORAC assay and in % SRSA, as well as the highest content of lutein (20.59 mg), gallic acid (25.77 mg), and quercetin (12.61 mg) per gram dry marigold petal among the 11 cultivars. Furthermore, ‘Optiva Orange’ showed the highest lutein yield per plant, as compared to other cultivars. In contrast, ‘Rodeo Gold’ showed the highest activity by ABTS testing (0.92 mmol of trolox/g dry sample), as well as an 89.90% inhibition of DPPH. Lutein content showed a positive correlation with TPC and all antioxidant activity assays. In conclusion, ‘Optiva Orange’ and ‘Rodeo Gold’ could be utilized as a good lutein source for functional food products and cosmetics. <![CDATA[Huitlacoche yield in some maize varieties in the Mediterranean region of Turkey]]> Huitlacoche is the Aztecs name given to the smut galls on ears of maize caused by the pathogenic plant fungus Ustilago maydis [(DC) Corda.)]. It is known as maize mushroom, and it has been considered a delicacy and in Mesoamerica. The aim of the present study was to determine the responses of some maize varieties to the growth of the fungus in order to evaluate the prospect production of these smutty ears as a maize mushroom. A 2-year study was conducted in the Mediterranean region of Turkey in 2010 and 2011. Inoculations were performed by injecting inoculum into the ear through the silk channel of plants in plots. Each treatment had control plots. Average ear-gall (huitlacoche) severity and incidence of all the varieties were at the rates of 4.0 and 41.6%, respectively. However, the highest severity of ear-gall (6.5) and incidence (60.6%) were found in Karadeniz Yıldızı flint maize variety; colossal smutty ears were formed in the maize cultivars. This study showed that certain maize cultivars (flint corn and dent corn) can be used efficiently in the production of huitlacoche. <![CDATA[Downstream processing of pectinase produced by <em>Aspergillus niger</em> in solid state cultivation and its application to fruit juices clarification]]> In this work, a protocol for the formulation of an enzyme concentrated product to be applied in fruit juice treatment is described. Downstream processing conditions for the recovery and concentration of pectinases produced by the new strain Aspergillus niger LB-02-SF in solid state cultivation were assessed. The solid-liquid ratio in the extraction step of pectinases recovery from the cultivated media was evaluated and the highest activity was obtained with a solid-liquid ratio of 1:10. The crude extract was concentrated by ultrafiltration and the total pectinase (TP) activity was 73.6-fold concentrated in relation to the crude extract, and a final TP titer of 663 U mL–1 was obtained with 73.7% of recovery yield. KCl and different glycerol concentrations were added to the concentrated extract and the stability of pectinases during the storage at 5°C for 59 weeks was tested. The formulation with 50% w/w glycerol was applied to the treatment of apple and grape juices and the results of these tests were statistically comparable to those obtained with two high-quality commercial preparations.