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WNYIFT is proud of the research and breakthroughs generated by the hardworking students, faculty, and scientists working in the universities, research institutes, and company labs in the Western New York area. This year we have decided to showcase and celebrate your contribution to the scientific community by publishing your research on our website and LinkedIn page! Please see a few submitted abstracts below!

The Busta Lab on Twitter: "Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Today:  avenanthramides - phenolic alkaloids from oats (Avena sativa). These  anti-itch compounds are abundant in colloidal oatmeal - the reason oatmeal  baths can help provide

Evaluation of Avenanthramide Content in Oat Milk Beverages by Claire Noack, Stephano Chu, Shashank Gaur (Steuben Foods)

Introduction: The popularity of oat milk has exploded since its introduction to the U.S. market in 2016, becoming the second largest plant-based milk in just a few years. Oats offer a number of health benefits, and are a source of avenanthramides (AVN), a group of functional phenolic compounds unique to oats among cultivated grains. AVNs are traditionally consumed as part of a whole oat food (i.e. cereal, oatmeal, and bread). However limited information is available on the AVN composition oat beverages. In this study, the researchers wanted to find out whether commercially available oat milks contained AVNs comparable to the whole oat foods.

Methods: Ten oat milk samples were freeze-dried, then the AVNs were solvent extracted from the resulting powder in triplicate. An HPLC with diode array detector was utilized for the detection and quantification of the AVNs. A calibration curve was constructed using commercially available AVN standards, and the samples were normalized to a gallacetophenone internal standard. The AVN content was calculated to represent AVN content per 240 g (8 fl oz) serving of oat milk.

Results: All oat milks tested contained varying levels of AVNs. The average total AVN concentration was 51.86 ±14.4 ug/g on a dry weight basis, which equates to 487.7 µg – 2232.1 µg per 240 g (8 fl. oz.) serving. AVNs are known to be heat-labile and can be lost during commercial thermal processing of oats. However, our results show that the AVNs are relatively well-preserved, and oat milk has similar amount of AVNs per serving as other whole oat foods.

Significance: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time AVN content has been measured in commercially available oat milks. This study shows that there is significant amount of functional AVN per serving of oat milks. Because oats have many health benefits, exemplified by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of AVNs, oat milks represent a convenient and increasingly popular way to consume these functional compounds.

Effects of grape (Vitis labrusca L.) puree, pulp and pomace on intestinal morphology, functionality, and the microbiome in vivo (Gallus gallus) by Nikita Agarwal; Nikolai Kolba; Cydney Jackson; Thaísa Agrizzi Verediano; Jacquelyn Cheng; Yimin Fu; Elad Tako (Cornell University)

This is a preliminary study evaluating the effect of different fractions of concord grapes (Vitis labrusca L.) on brush border membrane (BBM) morphology, functionality, and the gut microbi-ome. For this study, we utilized the well-established intraamniotic approach, wherein, the test substance is administered into the amnion of the Gallus gallus egg (day 17). The embryo orally consumes the amniotic fluid along with the injected test substance before hatch. We randomly di-vided ~50 eggs into 5 groups including 6% grape (juice, puree and pomace) along with controls (no injection and H2O) with n ~ 10. The grape juice was prepared by crushing the grapes, the grape residues were used as pomace. The grape puree included the grape skin, endocarp, mesocarp and juice but not the seeds. On hatch (day 21), following CO2 euthanization the blood, pectoral muscle, liver, duodenum, and large intestine were harvested. Our results showed no significant differ-ences in blood glucose, pectoral glycogen level nor body weight. Although, significant (p < 0.05) differences in duodenal and liver gene expression were observed between the treatment groups. The 16s rRNA microbiome analysis showed that consumption of 6% grape juice significantly in-creased relative abundance of the bacterial populations assessed compared to the control (no in-jection). The results suggest that consumption of the grape pomace, puree and juice has the poten-tial to beneficially impact gut health. Additionally, it can be concluded that the inclusion of grape pomace in food and poultry feed is a viable option. More studies are required to confirm these findings.

Cornell team creates tool to better define zinc deficiency

Zinc status index (ZSI) development for zinc physiological status quantification as part of a remediation strategy in vulnerable and at-risk populations by Jacquelyn Cheng, Haim Bar, Elad Tako (Cornell University)

Summary: As there is a low possibility of recognizing insufficient zinc (Zn) absorption, particularly in the early stages of mild Zn deficiency, the WHO has indicated the need for developing robust indicators of Zn status. Considering the complexity of Zn metabolism, establishing a panel of biochemical indices is necessary to reliably assess Zn status: we achieved accurate assessment of zinc (Zn) physiological status and degree of Zn deficiency through development of a Zn status index (ZSI), which consists of a three-pillar formula: (1) the LA:DGLA (linoleic acid:dihomo-γ-linolenic acid) ratio, (2) mRNA gene expression of Zn-related proteins, and (3) gut microbiome profiling.

Introduction: Over 1 billion people worldwide (17% of the global population) suffer from dietary Zn deficiency, with insufficient dietary Zn intake and/or poor bioavailability from food central to this condition. There is currently no universally accepted single Zn status measure. Although widely used biomarkers of Zn status (plasma, whole blood, and urine Zn) decrease in severe Zn deficiency, accurate assessment of Zn status, especially in mild to moderate deficiency, is difficult. We provide the Zn status index (ZSI) prototype, which delivers a clear assessment of Zn status with respect to assessing dietary Zn manipulation.

Methods: Five in vivo studies were selected on the basis that the studies utilized diet-controlled experiments with differential Zn content and determined how differential dietary Zn could affect parameters used in the ZSI. A training sample from the studies (n = 59) with a total of 25 potential Zn status predictors, including LA:DGLA, eight Zn-dependent genes, and 16 bacteria genera, was utilized for ZSI prototype development. Logistic regression and classification and regression tree methods were used to fit a binary classifier using these 25 variables as Zn status predictors, where variables with no predictive power were eliminated. The remaining predictors were used to define our ZSI, which allowed us to predict the probability of Zn-adequacy or -deficiency status.

Results: The ZSI provided a clear and accurate measurement of Zn physiological status. A decreased LA:DGLA level was associated with an improvement in Zn status. Δ6-desaturase gene expression was significantly altered with differential dietary Zn consumption. The ZSI found bacteria of the Lachnospiraceae family to have significant predictive power for Zn physiological status.

Significance: Our evidence demonstrates the ZSI as an accurate predictor of Zn physiological status that is responsive to dietary Zn changes, where the ZSI can be used to assess dietary intervention efficacy to improve Zn status in target populations. Zn deficiency is often missed due to the inflammation status of the subject, which is especially pertinent in vulnerable populations, thus, ZSI development and usage is highly relevant for the accurate measurement of Zn physiological status – further studies are warranted to further train and refine the ZSI model.

Effects of Empire Apple (Malus domestica) Soluble Extract on Intestinal Morphology, Functionality, and the Microbiome In Vivo (Gallus gallus) by Cydney Jackson, Nikita Agarwal, Nikolai Kolba, Viral Shukla, and Elad Tako (Cornell University)

Apples (Malus domestica) contain bioactives such as phytochemicals and prebiotics that may improve intestinal health and the gut microbiome. This study aimed to assess the effects of Empire apple juice, pomace, and puree soluble extracts on intestinal morphology, functionality, and the microbiome in vivo (Gallus gallus) following intra-amniotic administration. We used Gallus gallus (n ≈ 10) as our model with 5 treatment groups: (1) non-injected; (2) 18 Ω H2O; (3) 6% apple juice soluble extract; (4) 6% apple pomace soluble extract; (5) 6% apple puree suble extract. On day 17 of embryonic incubation, the eggs were treated through intra-amniotic administration. Upon hatch (day 21), blood, tissue, and cecum samples were collected for further analysis. Histomorphology, duodenal mRNA expression, blood glucose, pectoral glycogen, and cecum bacterial population analyses were conducted. Apple pomace and apple puree soluble extracts significantly (p ≤ 0.5) improved villi surface area, compared to the non-injected and 18 Ω H2O injected control groups. The gene expression of duodenal cytochrome B reductase, an iron brush border membrane metabolism protein, decreased (p ≤ 0.5) in apple juice and apple pomace soluble extract treatment groups. Further, 16S rRNA microbial analysis revealed apple juice and apple pomace soluble extracts significantly increaseed Lactobacillus cecal microbial populations. Increased microbial abundance of L. plantarum was only observed in the apple pomace soluble extract treatment. Ultimately, these results suggest the potential of apple pomace to improve host intestinal health and the gut microbiome.

If you are interested in having your scientic abstract featured by WNYIFT, please contact