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  • Author or Editor: Moon-Kyoung Cho x
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Red pepper, as an ingredient of Kimchi, is an important horticultural crop in Korea, and capsaicinoid content is a major factor determining the pungent quality of red pepper. To clarify the factors affecting capsaicinoid content, 122 red pepper samples of 24 varieties were collected from 21 cultivation sites in Cheongyang area, South Korea, and their nordihydrocapsaicin (NDC), capsaicin (CAP), and dihydrocapsaicin (DHC) contents were evaluated by using an HPLC. The average content of NDC, CAP, and DHC were 4.8, 74.2, and 26.5 mg/100 g, respectively, and its relative composition ratios were slightly affected by variety or cultivation places. In most cultivation places, capsaicinoid contents showed significant dependence upon variety, in that cv. WangJangKum (225.5 mg/100 g) exhibited 6.2-fold higher total capsaicinoid contents when compared to cv. ChonHaTongIl (36.2 mg/100 g). Even the same cultivar (e.g., WangDaeGum) exhibited almost 2-fold variations according to cultivation places, indicating the dependence of capsaicinoid content of red peppers upon the cultivation sites. Analysis of variance revealed significant variety–cultivation place interactions in CAP, DHC, and total capsaicinoid contents, but not in NDC. This data suggests the necessity of more-careful selection of variety and cultivation place corresponding to the expected pungency of harvested red peppers.

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Traditionally fatty acid composition used to be analysed by GC and the sample preparation consisted of lipid extraction from sample and subsequent methyl esters preparation, which are time-consuming and cumbersome. As an alternative, simultaneous extraction/methylation methods are being developed for rapid and simplified sample preparation. To optimize one-step extraction/methylation method for analysis of fatty acid composition in brown rice and adlay seeds, various factors, such as sample to reaction solution ratio, reaction time and temperature, and shaking intensity, were altered and resultant fatty acid composition data were evaluated in comparison with previous reports. The ratio of sample weight to reaction solution volume was the most critical factor in that higher sample to reaction solution ratio caused overestimation of palmitic acid and linoleic acid composition, resulting in underestimation of oleic acid. Lower reaction temperature also induced overestimation of linoleic acid and underestimation of oleic acid. Reaction duration and the intensity of shaking prior to and during the reaction, however, induced no significant changes in analysis results. In conclusion, the optimum condition for brown rice was mixing 5 grains (about 0.2 g) of brown rice with 680 μL of methylating mixture and 400 μL of heptane, followed by reaction at 80 °C for 2 hours.

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The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of a horticultural activity program on the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of kindergarteners. A total of 336 children aged 5 to 7 years in public and private kindergartens and day care centers in Incheon, South Korea, participated in a 24-session horticultural activity program. This program included indoor and outdoor activities such as planting seeds, transplanting plants, making and applying eco-friendly fertilizer, watering, harvesting, using plants to make crafts, and cooking with produce. It was designed to improve the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of kindergarteners. Each session lasted an average of 50 minutes and was held once per week. The results of the study showed that the 24-session horticultural activity program improved the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of the children (P < 0.05). Satisfaction with the program was very high among both the children and their teachers and parents. Future studies should consider exploring the effects of horticultural activity programs on children in different age groups.

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