- This dissertation focused on data mining in food science research and on the technical functional properties of wheat straw-derived biorefinery-byproduct fiber preparations as related to potential applications as food ingredients. This first study evaluated the importance of electronic bibliographic database selection and multiple database usage during the information retrieval phase of research in the food sciences. Recommended databases for information retrieval in the “food sciences” subject field were Academic Search Premier (ASP), AGRICOLA, Biological Abstract, CAB Direct, Food Science and Technology Abstract (FSTA), PubMed, SciFinder, Scopus, and Web of Science (WoS). Out of nine, six recommended databases were compared with respect to overall journal coverage and journal overlap. Databases were also evaluated with respect to coverage of food science-based journals and the extent of article coverage therein. A case study approach, focused on bile acid/dietary fiber interactions, was used to illustrate the ramifications of database selection/usage when dealing with specific research topics. Databases differed with respect to the breadth of disciplines covered, the total number of journals indexed, the number of food science discipline-specific journals indexed, and the number of articles cited per indexed journal. All of the databases contained citations that were unique to the given database. The data resulting from the case study provide an example of the extent to which relevant information may be missed if pertinent databases are not mined. In the present case over half of the articles retrieved on the focus research topic were unique to a single database. The combined data from this study point to the importance of thoughtful database selection and multiple database usage when comprehensively assessing knowledge in the food sciences.
The second study focused on comparing the performance of the six commonly recommended bibliographic databases in the food sciences; ASP, AGRICOLA, CAB Direct, FSTA, PubMed and WoS when searching for studies on in vitro bile acid associations with a dietary fiber, lignin. Search strategies were created for six commonly used bibliographic databases in the food sciences to gather citations for a systematic review. The databases’ performance was evaluated using sensitivity, precision, and number needed to read (NNR). Results showed that electronic databases retrieved 361 citations, of which seventeen were relevant to the review. Additionally, two relevant citations were included from other non-electronic sources. The highest number of citations was retrieved from WoS (222), followed by CAB Direct (135), PubMed (124), FSTA (89), AGRICOLA (85), and lastly ASP (69). However, of the nineteen citations that met eligibility criteria for the review; WoS retrieved 10, followed by CAB Direct (9), FSTA (7), AGRICOLA (6), PubMed (6), and ASP (3). Considering electronic databases alone (17), almost 18 % were identified uniquely by WoS (3), 6% by PubMed (1), CAB Direct (1), and ASP (1), and no unique identification was found by FSTA and AGRICOLA. Approximately 65% of the relevant articles included were identified by two or more databases. WoS had the highest yield retrieving about 53% of the relevant citations. FSTA was the most precise with 7.9% of screened citations included. NNR was higher for ASP (23), WoS (22), and PubMed (21), while generally similar for CAB Direct (15), AGRICOLA (14), and FSTA (13). This study provides evidence not only that multiple database usage is important to retrieve all relevant citations, but it also confirms the need to extend the search to other sources in a systematic review. Of the bibliographic databases used, WoS has higher sensitivity than the other five databases. This study also highlights the importance of well-designed database-specific search strategies.
The aim of third study was to determine the potential of fiber preparations derived from alkali processed and/or enzyme saccharified wheat straw as potential food ingredients based on their technical properties, including hydration properties, emulsion and antioxidant capacities. A process based on an alkali pretreatment was applied to fractionate wheat straw into byproducts likely to be generated via biochemicals platform processing under optimal conditions for each fraction. Also, an enzyme saccaharification procedure was followed to obtain a fiber preparation. The composition and technical properties (water- and oil-holding capacities, swelling activities, solubility, emulsion capacities and antioxidant properties) of each fraction were analyzed. Alkali extracted hemicellulose (AEHC) exhibited higher water-holding capacity (10.3 g water/ g dry weight (DW)), swelling ability (18.7 mL/g DW), and oil holding capacity (10.6 g oil/g DW) than alkali lignin (AL) and alkali treated/enzyme saccharified residue (ATESR). Among all tested fiber preparations, the solubility of AL was increased at higher pHs (>5) and lower ionic strength of buffer. High emulsifying activity was exhibited by AEHC (92.3%), compared to AL (61.6%) and ATESR (57.3%), though the latter had 95.7 % emulsification stability. AL had highest antioxidant capacity as determined by the ABTS method. The differences in the functional properties of the tested fibers can be rationalized based on their compositions. This study demonstrates the potential of using AL as fiber rich antioxidant functional ingredient that can be selectively utilized in various food applications. These results highlight the great potential of these fiber fractions to incorporate in the formulation of low-calorie, high-fiber foods as a valuable source of dietary fiber ingredients.