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Pai-Tsang Chang, Marc W. van Iersel, William M. Randle, and Carl E. Sams

are considered the cause of Se toxicity in plants. Selenium is an essential trace nutrient in the human diet. There is a narrow range between Se sufficiency and toxicity ( Lemly, 1997 ). Se can be delivered to the human daily diet through standard

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Claire H. Luby, Rachael Vernon, Hiroshi A. Maeda, and Irwin L. Goldman

E is an essential nutrient in the human diet, critical for membrane integrity and stability, and has a variety of health promoting properties ( Hunter and Cahoon, 2007 ). Seeds, nuts, and oils are recognized as good sources of vitamin E and some

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Xinjuan Chen, Zhujun Zhu, Joska Gerendás, and Nadine Zimmermann

Epidemiological data show that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables can reduce the risk from a number of cancers. Several protection mechanisms for the cancer prevention from cruciferous vegetables have been demonstrated for the breakdown

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Harbans L. Bhardwaj and Anwar A. Hamama

. Kawatra, B.L. 2002 Effect of domestic processing on zinc bioavailability from ricebean ( Vigna umbellata ) diets Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 57 307 318 Lorenz, K. 1980 Cereal sprouts: Composition, nutritive value, food

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Dean A. Kopsell, J. Scott McElroy, Carl E. Sams, and David E. Kopsell

significant sources of carotenoids in the diet, and Brassica vegetables are relatively abundant sources that exhibit antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity ( Kurilich et al., 1999 ). Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize the variation

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Daniel F. Warnock, David W. Davis, and William D. Hutchison

European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner, can severely affect sweet corn quality. Selection techniques in field experiments have improved ear feeding resistance associated with morphological features and/or allelochemicals. A laboratory bioassay was used to detect chemical resistance factors in silk and kernel tissues of 10 variously resistant sweet corn genotypes. When added to a nutritively complete diet, kernel tissue from W182E, MN275, and MN272 decreased (P ≤ 0.05) 10-day larval weight (66.3, 61.7, and 54.5 mg, respectively) while kernel tissue from MG15, MN270, and MN3053 increased (P ≤ 0.05) 10-day larval weight (88.3, 81.5, and 80.8 mg, respectively) compared to a cellulose control (71.0 mg). These weight differences, however, were not significant developmentally as 10-day larval maturation (fourth to fifth instar) and pupation time (13.9 to 16.3 days) were similar to the cellulose control (fifth instar and 14.8 days). Silk tissue additions to the diet decreased (P ≤ 0.05) 10-day larval weight compared to the cellulose control (71.0 mg). Larvae exposed to diet containing silk tissue from MN3053, W182E, and `Apache' were lightest (9.1, 8.3, and 7.8 mg, respectively). The heaviest larvae exposed to silk tissue were from diet including `Jubilee' tissue (54.1 mg). Contrary to the instar levels found on the cellulose control, larvae feeding for 10 days on a diet containing silk tissue mainly were at third or early fourth instar excluding larvae exposed to `Jubilee' silk (fourth to fifth instar). For all genotypes, silk additions to diet increased the pupation time compared to kernel additions. Kernel, and especially silk tissue, may contain chemical resistance factors which decrease larval weight and increase developmental time. Identifying sweet corn genotypes with chemical resistance factors may enhance ECB resistance breeding efficiency.

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Hiroyo Mihira, Cathy Sabota, and Ann Warren

Shiitake mushrooms [Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler] have several therapeutic effects such as antibiotic, immunoregulatory, hypocholesterolemic, and hypotensive. Human studies have proven that serum cholesterol can be lowered by consuming shiitake mushrooms on a regular basis. However, few studies have evaluated shiitake mushroom effects for more than a few weeks. In this study, male spontaneously hypertensive rats were divided into six groups. Each group received one of the following diets: 0% cholesterol (C); C + 5% shiitake mushrooms; C + 5% Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Imbach; 1% cholesterol (1C); 1C + 5% shiitake; 1C + 5% A. bisporus. Serum cholesterol was measured at the end of 9 weeks and systolic blood pressure was measured weekly for 6 weeks. At the end of the study, total serum (TC) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol (mg·dL–1) were significantly lower in both of the shiitake diets compared to 1C or 1C + 5% A. bisporus. The total cholesterol for diets 1 through 6 were 44, 34, 36, 71, 34, and 54 mg·dL–1, respectively. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower over the 6-week period for the shiitake and A. bisporus amended diets. The addition of cholesterol to the diets did not significantly affect systolic blood pressure. Results of this study indicate that both shiitake and A. bisporus mushrooms may help reduce hypertension. Shiitake mushrooms may be superior to white mushrooms for hypocholesterolemic effect when cholesterol in the diet is high. The results of this study reinforce other work conducted in Japan on animals and humans. Promotion of shiitake mushrooms as a product that can reduce cholesterol or blood pressure can increase sales if scientific information supports these claims.

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F. J. Francis


Quality measurement in all foods has been extremely important in the past and certainly will be no less so in the future. The trend towards a better nutritional delivery system, combined with a reduction in overall calories in our diet, will make fruits and vegetables even more important (5). Improved nutritional content will have to be accompanied by good sensory appeal because food that isn't eaten is of little importance in our diet Sensory appeal will have to be quantified, so it behooves the scientists in related areas to develop and interpret sophisticated tools to measure sensory appeal as an aid to the plant breeders.

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Cynthia A. Patton, Thomas G. Ranney, James D. Burton, and James F. Walgenbach

Feeding intensity of adult Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newm.) was compared among 27 taxa of Prunus host plants during 24-hour no-choice feeding trials conducted on individual leaves. Fecal dry mass per beetle, a measure of feeding intensity, varied from 0 mg·d-1 for Prunus padus L. to 20.4 mg·d-1 for P. sargentii Rehd. and P. tomentosa Thunb. Prunus padus, P. laurocerasus L., P. mahaleb L., P. serotina Ehrh., P. virginiana L., P. americana Marsh., P. ×yedoensis Matsum., and P. besseyi Bailey were resistant based on feeding intensities of <4.3 mg·d-1 (levels not significantly different from zero). Feeding intensity decreased exponentially as endogenous foliar cyanide potential increased. Evaluation of the cyanogenic glucoside prunasin in artificial diets showed a similar relationship with feeding being reduced by 50% (ED50) at 4.9 mmol·kg-1 in the diet. Prunus mahaleb was highly resistant to Japanese beetles despite having low cyanide potential. Two coumarin compounds known to exist in P. mahaleb, herniarin and coumarin, were tested in artificial diets and were effective feeding deterrents with ED50 values of 5.9 and 2.5 mmol·kg-1 in the diet, respectively. This research demonstrated a wide range of host plant resistance to feeding by adult Japanese beetles and further indicates that prunasin, herniarin, and coumarin are important factors in host plant resistance to this pest.

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Usha R. Palaniswamy

Vegetarianism dates back to a time before recorded history and, as many anthropologists believe, most early humans ate primarily plant foods, being more gatherers than hunters. Human diets may be adopted for a variety of reasons, including political, esthetic, moral, environmental and economic concerns, religious beliefs, and a desire to consume a more healthy diet. A major factor influencing the vegetarianism movement in the present time is primarily associated with better health. Epidemiologic data support the association between high intake of vegetables and fruit and low risk of chronic diseases and provide evidence to the profound and long-term health benefits of a primarily vegetarian diet. Vegetables and fruit are rich sources of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber as well as biologically active nonnutrient compounds that have a complementary and often multiple mechanisms of actions, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, and hypolipidemic properties, and mechanisms that stimulate the human immune system. Because of the critical link established between diet and health, consumers have begun to view food as a means of self-care for health promotion and disease prevention. Functional foods are targeted to address specific health concerns, such as high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels, to obtain a desired health benefit. Functional properties identified in a number of plant species have led to a modern day renaissance for the vegetarian movement.