Now showing items 1-20 of 1719

    • Impact of pulsed electric field pre-treatment on nutritional and polyphenolic contents and bioactivities of light and dark brewer's spent grains

      Kumari, Bibha; Tiwari, Brijesh; Walsh, Des; Griffin, Tomás; Islam, Nahidul; Lyng, James G.; Brunton, Nigel; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; European Union's Horizon 2020; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-04-30)
      Pulsed electric field (PEF) pre-treatment, at 2.8 kV/cm with 3000 pulses of 20 μs pulse-width, was applied on brewer's spent grains (BSG) followed by aqueous extraction at 55 °C, 220 rpm for 16 h. PEF pre-treatment showed significantly increased yields (p < 0.05) of carbohydrate, protein, starch and reducing sugar in extracts from dark BSG compared to untreated samples. Light BSG extracts had significantly higher (p < 0.05) levels of free d-glucose and total free amino acids (18.5–33.3 and 21–25 mg/g dry weight extract (Dwe)), compared to dark extracts (5 and 1.2 mg/g Dwe respectively). Dark BSG extracts showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) total phenolics (3.97–4.88 mg GAE/g Dwe) compared to light BSG extracts (0.83–1.40 mg GAE/g Dwe). Furthermore, PEF treated light BSG showed higher antimicrobial activity with minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of 50 and 25 mg/mL against Salmonella typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes, respectively compared to the untreated extracts (>50 mg/mL) with lowest MIC value of 1.56 mg/mL against Staphylococcus aureus. All the BSG extracts induced the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) and chemokines (IL-8, MCP-1 and MIP-1α) confirming immunomodulatory activity.
    • Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from potato peels: profiling and kinetic modelling

      Kumari, Bibha; Tiwari, Brijesh; Hossain, Mohammad B; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; FIRM/11/F/050 (Wiley, 2017-02-14)
      Ultrasound‐assisted extraction (UAE) at 33 and 42 kHz has been investigated in the extraction of polyphenols from peels of two potato varieties, cream‐skinned Lady Claire (LC) and pink‐skinned Lady Rosetta (LR), commonly used in snack food production. Extraction efficacy between the UAE‐untreated (control) and the UAE‐treated extracts was assessed on the total phenolic content and antioxidant capacities (DPPH and FRAP). Application of UAE showed significantly higher recovery of phenolic compounds compared to solid–liquid extraction process alone. Lower ultrasonic frequency (33 kHz) was more effective in recovering polyphenols compared to 42 kHz ultrasonic treatment. The liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry revealed that chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid were the most prevalent phenolics in LR peels, whereas caffeic acid was dominant in LC peels. Peleg's equation showed a good correlation (R2 > 0.92) between the experimental values and the predicted values on the kinetics of UAE of phenolic compounds.
    • Optimisation and validation of ultra-high performance liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometry method for qualitative and quantitative analysis of potato steroidal alkaloids

      Hossain, Mohammad B; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/F/050 (Elsevier, 2015-06-09)
      An ultra-high performance liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) method for quantification of potato steroidal alkaloids, namely α-solanine, α-chaconine, solanidine and demissidine was developed and validated. Three different column chemistries, i.e. ethylene bridged hybrid (BEH) C18, hydrophilic lipophilic interaction and amide columns, were assessed. The BEH C18 column showed best separation and sensitivity for the alkaloids. Validation data (inter-day and intra-day combined) for accuracy and recovery ranged from 94.3 to 107.7% and 97.0 to 103.5%, respectively. The accuracy data were within the acceptable range of 15% as outlined in the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) guidelines. The recovery data were consistent and reproducible with a coefficient of variation (CV) ranging from 6.2 to 9.7%. In addition, precision of the method also met the criteria of the USFDA with CV values lower than 15% even at lower limit of quantification (LLOQ), while the permissible variation is considered acceptable below 20%. The limit of detection and LLOQ of the four alkaloids were in the range of 0.001–0.004 μg/mL whereas the linearities of the standard curves were between 0.980 and 0.995.
    • Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foods and Derived Products Containing Ellagitannins and Anthocyanins on Cardiometabolic Biomarkers: Analysis of Factors Influencing Variability of the Individual Responses

      García-Conesa, María-Teresa; Chambers, Karen; Combet, Emilie; Pinto, Paula; Garcia-Aloy, Mar; Andrés-Lacueva, Cristina; de Pascual-Teresa, Sonia; Mena, Pedro; Konic Ristic, Aleksandra; Hollands, Wendy; et al. (MDPI, 2018-02-28)
      Understanding interindividual variability in response to dietary polyphenols remains essential to elucidate their effects on cardiometabolic disease development. A meta-analysis of 128 randomized clinical trials was conducted to investigate the effects of berries and red grapes/wine as sources of anthocyanins and of nuts and pomegranate as sources of ellagitannins on a range of cardiometabolic risk biomarkers. The potential influence of various demographic and lifestyle factors on the variability in the response to these products were explored. Both anthocyanin- and ellagitannin-containing products reduced total-cholesterol with nuts and berries yielding more significant effects than pomegranate and grapes. Blood pressure was significantly reduced by the two main sources of anthocyanins, berries and red grapes/wine, whereas waist circumference, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose were most significantly lowered by the ellagitannin-products, particularly nuts. Additionally, we found an indication of a small increase in HDL-cholesterol most significant with nuts and, in flow-mediated dilation by nuts and berries. Most of these effects were detected in obese/overweight people but we found limited or non-evidence in normoweight individuals or of the influence of sex or smoking status. The effects of other factors, i.e., habitual diet, health status or country where the study was conducted, were inconsistent and require further investigation.
    • Current Status and Future Prospects of Marine Natural Products (MNPs) as Antimicrobials

      Choudhary, Alka; Naughton, Lynn; Montánchez, Itxaso; Dobson, Alan; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/F/009 (MDPI, 2017-08-28)
      The marine environment is a rich source of chemically diverse, biologically active natural products, and serves as an invaluable resource in the ongoing search for novel antimicrobial compounds. Recent advances in extraction and isolation techniques, and in state-of-the-art technologies involved in organic synthesis and chemical structure elucidation, have accelerated the numbers of antimicrobial molecules originating from the ocean moving into clinical trials. The chemical diversity associated with these marine-derived molecules is immense, varying from simple linear peptides and fatty acids to complex alkaloids, terpenes and polyketides, etc. Such an array of structurally distinct molecules performs functionally diverse biological activities against many pathogenic bacteria and fungi, making marine-derived natural products valuable commodities, particularly in the current age of antimicrobial resistance. In this review, we have highlighted several marine-derived natural products (and their synthetic derivatives), which have gained recognition as effective antimicrobial agents over the past five years (2012–2017). These natural products have been categorized based on their chemical structures and the structure-activity mediated relationships of some of these bioactive molecules have been discussed. Finally, we have provided an insight into how genome mining efforts are likely to expedite the discovery of novel antimicrobial compounds.
    • Profiling of Phytochemicals in Tissues from Sclerocarya birrea by HPLC-MS and Their Link with Antioxidant Activity

      Russo, Daniela; Kenny, Owen; Smyth, Thomas J.; Milella, Luigi; Diop, Moussoukhoye Sissokho; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Hossain, Mohammad B.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Hindawi, 2013-04-29)
      High performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) was employed to investigate the differences in phytochemicals in roots, bark, and leaf of Sclerocarya birrea (marula) for methanol and water extracts that exhibited the best antioxidant activities. As many as 36 compounds were observed in the extracts of these tissues of which 27 phenolic compounds were tentatively identified. The HPLC-MS/MS results showed flavonoid glycosides were prominent in leaf extracts while the galloylated tannins were largely in bark and root extracts. Four flavonoid glycosides that were reported for the first time in the marula leaf have been identified. The HPLC-MS/MS studies also illustrated different degrees (highest degree = 3) of oligomerisation and galloylation of tannins in the bark and root extracts.
    • Antioxidant Activity and Phytochemical Characterization of Senecio clivicolus Wedd.

      Faraone, Immacolata; Rai, Dilip K.; Chiummiento, Lucia; Fernandez, Eloy; Choudhary, Alka; Prinzo, Flavio; Milella, Luigi; University of Basilicata; D.G.R. 1490 (MDPI, 2018-09-29)
      Antioxidant phytochemicals play a key role in oxidative stress control and in the prevention of related disorders, such as premature aging, degenerative diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential antioxidant activity and the phytochemical profile of Senecio clivicolus Wedd., a perennial shrub, belonging to the Asteraceae family. Despite the wide interest of this family, this specie has not been investigated yet. S. clivicolus aerial parts were extracted with 96% ethanol. Then, the ethanol extract was fractionated by liquid/liquid extraction using an increasing solvents polarity. Total polyphenol and terpenoid contents were measured. Moreover, the antioxidant activity was evaluated by six different complementary in vitro assays. The Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI) was used to compare data obtained by different tests. The sample showing the highest RACI was subjected to characterization and quantitation of its phenolic composition using LC-MS/MS analysis. The ethyl acetate fraction, investigated by LC-MS/MS analysis, showed 30 compounds, most of them are chlorogenic acid and flavonoid derivatives. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the evaluation of antioxidant activity and phytochemical profile of S. clivicolus, underlying the importance of this species as a source of health-promoting phytochemicals.
    • Antioxidant, Antidiabetic, and Anticholinesterase Activities and Phytochemical Profile of Azorella glabra Wedd

      Faraone, Immacolata; Rai, Dilip K.; Russo, Daniela; Chiummiento, Lucia; Fernandez, Eloy; Choudhary, Alka; Milella, Luigi; Regione Basilicata; Fondazione Enrico Mattei DGR; ALIMINTEGRA, GO NUTRIBAS; et al. (MDPI, 2019-08-03)
      Oxidative stress is involved in different diseases, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The genus Azorella includes about 70 species of flowering plant species; most of them are commonly used as food and in particular as a tea infusion in the Andean region of South America in folk medicine to treat various chronic diseases. Azorella glabra Wedd. aerial parts were firstly analyzed for their in vitro antioxidant activity using different complementary assays. In particular, radical scavenging activity was tested against biological neutral radical DPPH; ferric reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibitory capacity (FRAP and Beta-Carotene Bleaching tests) were also determined. The Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI) was used to compare data obtained by different assays. Then, the inhibitory ability of samples was investigated against α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes involved in diabetes and against acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase enzymes considered as strategy for the treatment of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases. Moreover, the phytochemical profile of the sample showing the highest RACI (1.35) and interesting enzymatic activities (IC50 of 163.54 ± 9.72 and 215.29 ± 17.10 μg/mL in α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase inhibition, respectively) was subjected to characterization and quantification of its phenolic composition using LC-MS/MS analysis. In fact, the ethyl acetate fraction derived from ethanol extract by liquid/liquid extraction showed 29 compounds, most of them are cinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoid derivatives, and a terpene. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the evaluation of significant biological activities and phytochemical profile of A. glabra, an important source of health-promoting phytochemicals.
    • Enrichment and Assessment of the Contributions of the Major Polyphenols to the Total Antioxidant Activity of Onion Extracts: A Fractionation by Flash Chromatography Approach

      Hossain, Mohammad B; Lebelle, Justine; Birsan, Rares; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 06/NITAFRC/6 (MDPI, 2018-11-27)
      The present study extensively fractionated crude red onion extract in order to identify the polyphenols which contributed most in the total antioxidant capacity of the onion extract using a flash chromatography system. The flash separations produced 70 fractions which were tested for their total phenol content, total flavonoid content, and antioxidant capacities as measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Out of these 70 fractions, four fractions which were representatives of the four major peaks of the flash chromatograms, were further analysed for their constituent polyphenols using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The main contributor of onion antioxidant capacity is quercetin glycoside followed by quercetin aglycone although quercetin aglycone had higher antioxidant capacity than its glycosidic counterparts. High abundance of quercetin glycosides such as quercetin-3,4′-diglucoside and quercetin-4′-glucoside had compensated for their relatively low antioxidant capacities. A Higher degree of glycosylation resulted in lower antioxidant capacity. The fractionation approach also contributed in enrichment of the onion antioxidant polyphenols. A >9 folds enrichment was possible by discarding the early fractions (fractions 1–15) which contained the main bulk of the extracts, predominantly sugars.
    • Recovery of Steroidal Alkaloids from Potato Peels Using Pressurized Liquid Extraction

      Rawson, Ashish; Aguiló-Aguayo, Ingrid; Brunton, Nigel; Hossain, Mohammad B; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 08/RD/AFRC/673 (MDPI, 2015-05-13)
      A higher yield of glycoalkaloids was recovered from potato peels using pressurized liquid extraction (1.92 mg/g dried potato peels) compared to conventional solid–liquid extraction (0.981 mg/g dried potato peels). Response surface methodology deduced the optimal temperature and extracting solvent (methanol) for the pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) of glycoalkaloids as 80 °C in 89% methanol. Using these two optimum PLE conditions, levels of individual steroidal alkaloids obtained were of 597, 873, 374 and 75 µg/g dried potato peel for α-solanine, α-chaconine, solanidine and demissidine respectively. Corresponding values for solid liquid extraction were 59%, 46%, 40% and 52% lower for α-solanine, α-chaconine, solanidine and demissidine respectively
    • Effect of Drying Methods on the Steroidal Alkaloid Content of Potato Peels, Shoots and Berries

      Brunton, Nigel; Hossain, Mohammad B; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11F/050 (MDPI, 2016-03-25)
      The present study has found that dried potato samples yielded significantly higher levels of steroidal alkaloids such as α-solanine and α-chaconine than the corresponding fresh samples, as determined by the UPLC-MS/MS technique. Among the drying techniques used, air drying had the highest effect on steroidal alkaloid contents, followed by freeze drying and vacuum oven drying. There was no significant difference between the freeze dried and vacuum oven dried samples in their α-chaconine contents. However, freeze dried potato shoots and berries had significantly higher α-solanine contents (825 µg/g dry weight (DW) in shoots and 2453 µg/g DW in berries) than the vacuum oven dried ones (325 µg/g dry weight (DW) in shoots and 2080 µg/g DW in berries). The kinetics of steroidal alkaloid contents of potato shoots during air drying were monitored over a period of 21 days. Both α-solanine and α-chaconine content increased to their maximum values, 875 µg/g DW and 3385 µg/g DW, respectively, after 7 days of drying. The steroidal alkaloid contents of the shoots decreased significantly at day 9, and then remained unchanged until day 21. In line with the potato shoots, air dried potato tuber peels also had higher steroidal alkaloid content than the freeze dried and vacuum oven dried samples. However, a significant decrease of steroidal alkaloid content was observed in air dried potato berries, possibly due to degradation during slicing of the whole berries prior to air drying. Remarkable variation in steroidal alkaloid contents among different tissue types of potato plants was observed with the potato flowers having the highest content.
    • A Review of Extraction and Analysis of Bioactives in Oat and Barley and Scope for Use of Novel Food Processing Technologies

      Gangopadhyay, Nirupama; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Hossain, Mohammad B; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.; 11/SF/317 (MDPI, 2015-06-12)
      Oat and barely are cereal crops mainly used as animal feed and for the purposes of malting and brewing, respectively. Some studies have indicated that consumption of oat and barley rich foods may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer. Whilst there is no absolute consensus, some of these benefits may be linked to presence of compounds such as phenolics, vitamin E and β-glucan in these cereals. A number of benefits have also been linked to the lipid component (sterols, fatty acids) and the proteins and bioactive peptides in oats and barley. Since the available evidence is pointing toward the possible health benefits of oat and barley components, a number of authors have examined techniques for recovering them from their native sources. In the present review, we summarise and examine the range of conventional techniques that have been used for the purpose of extraction and detection of these bioactives. In addition, the recent advances in use of novel food processing technologies as a substitute to conventional processes for extraction of bioactives from oats and barley, has been discussed.
    • Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Polyphenols in Lamiaceae Plants—A Review

      Tzima, Katerina; Brunton, Nigel P.; Rai, Dilip K.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2016038 (MDPI, 2018-03-26)
      Lamiaceae species are promising potential sources of natural antioxidants, owing to their high polyphenol content. In addition, increasing scientific and epidemiological evidence have associated consumption of foods rich in polyphenols with health benefits such as decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases mediated through anti-inflammatory effects. The complex and diverse nature of polyphenols and the huge variation in their levels in commonly consumed herbs make their analysis challenging. Innovative robust analytical tools are constantly developing to meet these challenges. In this review, we present advances in the state of the art for the identification and quantification of polyphenols in Lamiaceae species. Novel chromatographic techniques that have been employed in the past decades are discussed, ranging from ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography to hyphenated spectroscopic methods, whereas performance characteristics such as selectivity and specificity are also summarized.
    • The Effect of High Pressure Processing on Antioxidant Activity of Irish Potato Cultivars

      Tsikrika, Konstantina; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 17/F/299 (MDPI, 2019-04-16)
      The effect of High Pressure Processing (HPP) on Irish potato cultivars’ antioxidant activity (AOA) was examined. High Pressure Processing at 600 MPa for 3 min was applied to two coloured (Rooster and Kerr’s Pink) and two white (Saxon and Gemson) Irish potato varieties. Antioxidant activity was assayed spectrophotometrically by ferric reducing antioxidant power and diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl methods. No statistically significant (p ≥ 0.05) change in antioxidant activity was observed in both the AOA methods irrespective of the HPP treatments, although a slight increase in the activity was noted in the majority of the HPP treated samples. This implies that HPP treatment has little role in improving the functional qualities, and can be tailored to improve the quality and safety of the commonly consumed potatoes.
    • Enrichment and Assessment of the Contributions of the Major Polyphenols to the Total Antioxidant Activity of Onion Extracts: A Fractionation by Flash Chromatography Approach

      Hossain, Mohammad; Lebelle, Justine; Birsan, Rares; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; FIRM 06/NITAFRC/6 (MDPI AG, 2018-11-27)
      The present study extensively fractionated crude red onion extract in order to identify the polyphenols which contributed most in the total antioxidant capacity of the onion extract using a flash chromatography system. The flash separations produced 70 fractions which were tested for their total phenol content, total flavonoid content, and antioxidant capacities as measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Out of these 70 fractions, four fractions which were representatives of the four major peaks of the flash chromatograms, were further analysed for their constituent polyphenols using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The main contributor of onion antioxidant capacity is quercetin glycoside followed by quercetin aglycone although quercetin aglycone had higher antioxidant capacity than its glycosidic counterparts. High abundance of quercetin glycosides such as quercetin-3,4′-diglucoside and quercetin-4′-glucoside had compensated for their relatively low antioxidant capacities. A Higher degree of glycosylation resulted in lower antioxidant capacity. The fractionation approach also contributed in enrichment of the onion antioxidant polyphenols. A >9 folds enrichment was possible by discarding the early fractions (fractions 1–15) which contained the main bulk of the extracts, predominantly sugars.
    • A Functional Land Management conceptual framework under soil drainage and land use scenarios

      Coyle, Cait; Creamer, Rachel E.; Schulte, Rogier P.; O'Sullivan, Lilian; Jordan, Phil; Institute of Technology, Sligo (Elsevier, 2015-11-15)
      Agricultural soils offer multiple soil functions, which contribute to a range of ecosystem services, and the demand for the primary production function is expected to increase with a growing world population. Other key functions on agricultural land have been identified as water purification, carbon sequestration, habitat biodiversity and nutrient cycling, which all need to be considered for sustainable intensification. All soils perform all functions simultaneously, but the variation in the capacity of soils to supply these functions is reviewed in terms of defined land use types (arable, bio-energy, broadleaf forest, coniferous forest, managed grassland, other grassland and Natura 2000) and extended to include the influence of soil drainage characteristics (well, moderately/imperfect, poor and peat). This latter consideration is particularly important in the European Atlantic pedo-climatic zone; the spatial scale of this review. This review develops a conceptual framework on the multi-functional capacity of soils, termed Functional Land Management, to facilitate the effective design and assessment of agri-environmental policies. A final functional soil matrix is presented as an approach to show the consequential changes to the capacity of the five soil functions associated with land use change on soils with contrasting drainage characteristics. Where policy prioritises the enhancement of particular functions, the matrix indicates the potential trade-offs for individual functions or the overall impact on the multi-functional capacity of soil. The conceptual framework is also applied by land use area in a case study, using the Republic of Ireland as an example, to show how the principle of multi-functional land use planning can be readily implemented.
    • A mechanistic model for electricity consumption on dairy farms: Definition, validation, and demonstration

      Upton, John; Murphy, Michael D.; Shalloo, Laurence; Groot Koerkamp, Peter W.G.; De Boer, Imke J.M.; INTERREG IVB North-West Europe (Elsevier, 2014-06-07)
      Our objective was to define and demonstrate a mechanistic model that enables dairy farmers to explore the impact of a technical or managerial innovation on electricity consumption, associated CO2 emissions, and electricity costs. We, therefore, (1) defined a model for electricity consumption on dairy farms (MECD) capable of simulating total electricity consumption along with related CO2 emissions and electricity costs on dairy farms on a monthly basis; (2) validated the MECD using empirical data of 1 yr on commercial spring calving, grass-based dairy farms with 45, 88, and 195 milking cows; and (3) demonstrated the functionality of the model by applying 2 electricity tariffs to the electricity consumption data and examining the effect on total dairy farm electricity costs. The MECD was developed using a mechanistic modeling approach and required the key inputs of milk production, cow number, and details relating to the milk-cooling system, milking machine system, water-heating system, lighting systems, water pump systems, and the winter housing facilities as well as details relating to the management of the farm (e.g., season of calving). Model validation showed an overall relative prediction error (RPE) of less than 10% for total electricity consumption. More than 87% of the mean square prediction error of total electricity consumption was accounted for by random variation. The RPE values of the milk-cooling systems, water-heating systems, and milking machine systems were less than 20%. The RPE values for automatic scraper systems, lighting systems, and water pump systems varied from 18 to 113%, indicating a poor prediction for these metrics. However, automatic scrapers, lighting, and water pumps made up only 14% of total electricity consumption across all farms, reducing the overall impact of these poor predictions. Demonstration of the model showed that total farm electricity costs increased by between 29 and 38% by moving from a day and night tariff to a flat tariff.
    • A national methodology to quantify the diet of grazing dairy cows

      O'Brien, Donal; Moran, Brian; Shalloo, Laurence (Elsevier, 2018-07-04)
      The unique rumen of dairy cows allows them to digest fibrous forages and feedstuffs. Surprisingly, to date few attempts have been made to develop national methods to gain an understanding on the make-up of a dairy cow's diet, despite the importance of milk production. Consumer interest is growing in purchasing milk based on the composition of the cows' diet and the time they spend grazing. The goal of this research was to develop such a methodology using the national farm survey of Ireland as a data source. The analysis was completed for a 3-yr period from 2013 to 2015 on a nationally representative sample of 275 to 318 dairy farms. Trained auditors carried out economic surveys on farms 3 to 4 times per annum. The auditors collected important additional information necessary to estimate the diet of cows including the length of the grazing season, monthly concentrate feeding, type of forage(s) conserved, and milk production. Annual cow intakes were calculated to meet net energy requirements for production, maintenance, activity, pregnancy, growth, and live weight change using survey data and published literature. Our analysis showed that the average annual cow feed intake on a fresh matter basis ranged from 22.7 t in 2013 to 24.8 t in 2015 and from 4.8 to 5 t on a dry matter basis for the same period. Forage, particularly pasture, was the largest component of the Irish cow diet, typically accounting for 96% of the diet on a fresh matter basis and 82% of dry matter intake over the 3 yr. Within the cows' forage diet, grazed pasture was the dominant component and on average contributed 74 to 77% to the average annual cow fresh matter diet over the period. The proportion of pasture in the annual cow diet as fed was also identified as a good indicator of the time cows spend grazing (e.g., coefficient of determination = 0.85). Monthly, forage was typically the main component of the cow diet, but the average contribution of concentrate was substantial for the early spring months of January and February (30 to 35% of dry matter intake). Grazed pasture was the dominant source of forage from March to October and usually contributed 95 to 97% of the diet as fed in the summer period. Overall, the national farm survey from 2013 to 2015 shows that Irish dairy farms are very reliant on forage, particularly pasture, regardless of whether it is reported on a dry matter basis or as fed. There is potential to replicate this methodology in any regions or nations where representative farm surveys are conducted.
    • An observational study using blood gas analysis to assess neonatal calf diarrhea and subsequent recovery with a European Commission-compliant oral electrolyte solution

      Sayers, Riona; Kennedy, Aideen E.; Krump, Lea; Sayers, Gearoid; Kennedy, Emer; Epsilion Ltd.; IV20151256 (American Dairy Science Association, 2016-04-06)
      An observational study was conducted on dairy calves (51 healthy, 31 with neonatal diarrhea) during outbreaks of diarrhea on 4 dairy farms. Clinical assessment scores (CAS) were assigned to each healthy and diarrheic calf [from 0 (healthy) to 4 (marked illness)]. Blood gas analysis [pH, base excess (BE), Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl−, glucose, total hemoglobin, standard HCO3−, strong ion difference (SID), and anion gap (AG)] was completed for each calf. Repeated measurements were taken in healthy animals, and pre- and postintervention measurements were taken for diarrheic calves. The mean CAS of diarrheic calves was 1.7, with 51, 30, 17, and 2% of calves scoring 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The mean value for blood pH, BE, AG, and SID was 7.26, −4.93 mM, 16.3 mM, and 38.59 mM, respectively. Calves were administered an oral rehydration and buffering solution (ORBS; Vitalife for Calves, Epsilion Ltd., Cork, Ireland) and reassessed. The mean CAS decreased to 0.38 (65% of calves scored 0 and 35% scored 1) at 6 to 18 h posttreatment and to 0.03 (98% of calves scored 0 and 2% scored 1) within 24 to 48 h. Significant increases in mean value for pH, BE, HCO3−, Na+, and SID, and significant decreases in AG, K+, Ca2+, and total hemoglobin were recorded posttreatment. The correlation estimates indicated that pH, HCO3−, and BE were strongly correlated with CAS, with values exceeding 0.60 in all cases. Administration of an ORBS with a high SID and bicarbonate buffer demonstrated rapid recovery from a diarrheic episode in dairy calves.
    • Assessing the role of artificially drained agricultural land for climate change mitigation in Ireland

      Paul, Carsten; Fealy, Reamonn; Fenton, Owen; Lanigan, Gary; O’Sullivan, Lilian; Schulte, Rogier P.; Irish Dairy Research Fund; Teagasc Greenhouse Gas Working Group; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Elsevier, 2017-12-19)
      In 2014 temperate zone emission factor revisions were published in the IPCC Wetlands Supplement. Default values for direct CO2 emissions of artificially drained organic soils were increased by a factor of 1.6 for cropland sites and by factors ranging from 14 to 24 for grassland sites. This highlights the role of drained organic soils as emission hotspots and makes their rewetting more attractive as climate change mitigation measures. Drainage emissions of humic soils are lower on a per hectare basis and not covered by IPCC default values. However, drainage of great areas can turn them into nationally relevant emission sources. National policy making that recognizes the importance of preserving organic and humic soils’ carbon stock requires data that is not readily available. Taking Ireland as a case study, this article demonstrates how a dataset of policy relevant information can be generated. Total area of histic and humic soils drained for agriculture, resulting greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation potential were assessed. For emissions from histic soils, calculations were based on IPCC emission factors, for humic soils, a modified version of the ECOSSE model was used. Results indicated 370,000 ha of histic and 426,000 ha of humic soils under drained agricultural land use in Ireland (8% and 9% of total farmed area). Calculated annual drainage emissions were 8.7 Tg CO2e from histic and 1.8 Tg CO2e from humic soils (equal to 56% of Ireland’s agricultural emissions in 2014, excluding emissions from land use). If half the area of drained histic soils was rewetted, annual saving would amount to 3.2 Tg CO2e. If on half of the deep drained, nutrient rich grasslands drainage spacing was decreased to control the average water table at −25 cm or higher, annual savings would amount to 0.4 Tg CO2e.