IPA Recipients for March 2020

Ma. Roselette L. Alojado-Rubianes1, Ernesto J. del Rosario2
1National Institute of Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) (UP Los Baños)
2Institute of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)

Digital Images Photometry of Xylose in Liquid Medium,
Philippine Journal of Science, 148 (2): 217-224, 2019


The present study describes the development of a rapid method for the determination of xylose (a five-carbon sugar) in liquid medium using Digital Image Photometry (DIP). Xylose was quantified by its reaction with the reagent phloroglucinol, thereby forming a colored solution whose color intensity is proportional to the xylose concentration. A microplate sample holder is used which allows up to 96 sample solutions (small volumes in microwells) to be analyzed simultaneously. Color images of the solutions are taken using a commercial flat-bed scanner followed by image analysis with free-access software (ImageJ). This method uses a relatively cheap scanner and small volumes of samples and reagents; it is practical for laboratories with limited budget.

The DIP method was found to be accurate based on experimental (versus theoretical) xylose concentration values and gave results that are comparable to other technical protocols requiring expensive equipment such as high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) or visible spectrophotometer. The DIP method was used to evaluate the extent of xylose assimilation in liquid fermentation medium by four yeast strains. The results of the present study show that DIP using a scanner is a promising alternative for xylose determination, in terms of method validation criteria, compared to the more established protocols using HPLC or spectrophotometer.

Significance:
The aim of this study is to develop a rapid analytical method using common equipment (such as scanners, digital cameras, etc.) without sacrificing accuracy. When looking for microorganisms with beneficial characteristics, the screening process is usually the tedious step because it will require large numbers of analyses. Not only is this time-consuming, but it is also expensive. With this developed method, the costly spectrophotometer can be replaced by a digital scanner, and instead of cuvettes, we use a 96-well plate. In short, instead of analyzing samples one by one, we can simultaneously read 96 samples in one scanning. The method was validated against the established spectrophotometer and HPLC methods for the analysis of xylose, and it proved that this method can be a cheaper and faster alternative.

Link to the article: http://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/publication/regular-issues/past-issues/87-current-issue/vol-148-no-2-june-2019/964-digital-image-photometry-of-xylose-in-liquid-medium
Impact factor: Not yet available


Ma. Charisma T. Malenab1, Emilia S. Visco1
1Department of Social Development Service, College of Human Ecology (UP Los Baños)

Bridging the Gap Between Gender and Marine Conservation: The Case of Calatagan Mangrove Forest Conservation Park in Batangas, Philippines,
Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, 27 (S1):193-213, 2019


The Philippines sits on a global hotspot where the epicenter of marine biodiversity is found. To maintain the ecological integrity of this seascape, community-based marine conservation projects like the Calatagan Mangrove Forest Conservation Park (CMFCP) has been introduced. However, studies to determine the importance of gender roles in conservation and protection of these resources were very few. This study was conducted to analyze the gender role participation of the people who work in the conservation site. It adapted the analytical gender and environment framework by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. In managing CMFCP, gender complementation was observed where tasks perceived as heavy were dominated by men and the management of resources was done by women. In addition, there has been an articulated and observed increase in the level of women’s participation in marine conservation in parallel to a high number of women holding executive roles. Of the 19 tasks identified, eight were found to be participated by women. Productive work of women concentrated on wet season whereas their domestic roles were observed for both wet and dry seasons. On the other hand, men’s productive role was observed for both seasons where their domestic roles were seen only during dry season. Both genders were knowledgeable on the different marine resources present in the area. Women were able to identify more resources than men in terms of marine resources class. This may be linked to women’s role as tour guides. In this program, the rise of women working in marine conservation was observed.

Significance:
Most drivers of change for a successful conservation belong to the realm of social science where people are involved (Leslie, 2005). But while there have been studies involving the role of people in natural resources conservation efforts, there were limited studies focusing on gender and marine conservation. Thus, a study analyzing the gender role participation in conservation of a community-based program, the Calatagan Mangrove Forest Conservation Park (CMFCP) is very important. A gendered approach can also induce more participation on both genders. This also highlights the importance of involving the community as managers of marine protected areas to ensure the sustainability of the program. Hence, promoting community-based resource management for sustainable utilization of natural resources. Furthermore, the result of the study can also be utilized as the basis for crafting policies that will promote environmental integrity, empowerment of local organization and contribute to human-ecological security.

Link to the article: http://www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/Pertanika%20PAPERS/JSSH%20Vol.%2027%20(S1).%202019/13%20JSSH(S)-0972-2018.pdf
Impact factor: Not yet available


Camille Rose T. Mueda1, Sharon N. Nuñal1, Rose T. Mueda1
1Institute of Fish Processing Technology, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UP Visayas)

Effect of Storage Temperature on the Physicochemical and Sensory Properties of Green Mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758),
Asian Fisheries Science, 32: 172-181, 2019


Green mussel or tahong is a popular seafood commodity in the Philippines owing to its abundance and the nutritional benefits that it confers to the consumers. Tahong is also foreseen to have export potential however, there is a perceived lack of appropriate postharvest technologies to preserve its freshness and maintain its good eating quality. Upon harvest, the shells are usually packed in sacks without ice during transport to its intended market which often leads to deteriorating texture wherein the meat becomes tough and dry when cooked. In this study, we looked at the effect of adding ice at different ratios to the mussel. We also examined the enzyme activity which causes the degradation of the mussel meat. The study found that the addition of lesser ice at 1:5 ratio increases enzyme activities leading to faster degradation of mussel meat. To determine the changes in the flavor, texture and the general acceptability of the ice-stored mussel over three days, ten people were selected as panelists. The results of the sensory evaluation were then supported by a texture profile analysis which is an automated way of testing these characteristics. The results of both tests showed that flavor and texture were preserved better when more ice was added at 1:3 and 1:4 ratios. Interestingly it was revealed that the more degraded texture of mussel stored at 1:5 ratio was preferred by the panelists as the flesh is softer and the flavor is more acceptable.

Significance:
In the Philippines, the green mussel Perna viridis (Linnaeus 1758), commonly known as tahong, is one of the economically important shellfish species in the country. It exhibits a fast growth rate, making it a viable aquaculture organism. The green mussel is known for its proteinaceous meat and is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is an affordable commodity and is locally abundant especially in coastal communities. However, it is also highly perishable and its quality heavily depends on storage or transport temperature. To obtain good quality prior to consumption, mussels are usually transported live or in chilled form. Chilling, however, does not guarantee long-term preservation of mussel as degradation can still occur which is primarily attributed to the hydrolytic reactions catalyzed by endogenous enzymes. This study investigated the optimum ice: mussel ratio that would result in better preservation in terms of the physico-chemical and sensory attributes of the mussel. Enzymatic activities and soluble protein content of mussel stored in the different ice ratio were also determined. Findings of this study provides information on the proper chilling of mussel to keep it in good quality for a longer period of time.

Link to the article: https://www.asianfisheriessociety.org/publication/abstract.php?id=1279
Impact factor: Not yet available


Sharon N. Nuñal1, Mae Grace G, Nillos2, Jose P. Peralta1
1Institute of Fish Processing Technology, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UP Visayas)
2Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UP Visayas)

Bioactivity and Functionality of Gelatin Hydrolysates from the Skin of Oneknife Unicornfish (Naso thynnoides),
Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology: 28 (10): 1013-1026, 2019


In this study, the skin of unicornfish that are usually thrown away after obtaining the fillet was used as a source of a potential food ingredient with biological functions. Skin discards were collected from Culasi, Antique where unicornfish are abundant and are processed in bulk. The collected skin was added with enzymes to break down the protein into smaller components (peptides) which has known potential biological functions in the human body. The results showed that the obtained peptides are rich in amino acids that can exhibit antioxidant and antihypertensive properties. Also, the hydrolysates (peptides) showed excellent protein solubility, foaming and emulsion capacities which makes it a good additive to a food system to improve its physical and sensorial characteristics. This study was able to show that the processing wastes products such as skin discards of the Oneknife Unicornfish can be utilized to produce gelatin hydrolysates which are biologically active thus can be used as functional food ingredient and as neutraceuticals to help address health issues like hypertension and cell oxidation.

Significance:
Valorisation of fish processing wastes often ends with the production of fish meal and fish silage which have low economic value. The study aimed at utilizing and increasing the value of skin discards from the processing of oneknife unicornfish (Naso thynnoides) as a source of biologically active peptides. Production of hydrolysates (short peptides) from Unicornfish gelatin was proven in this study to have potent antioxidant and antihypertensive activities which can be a natural alternative to a synthetic drug to address cases of cell oxidation and hypertension. Also, with its exceptional protein solubility, emulsion capacity and foaming capacity properties, the hydrolysates can improve the physical and sensorial components of food if used as an additive. With these, the unicornfish skin gelatin hydrolysates can be a potential food ingredient for nutraceuticals and functional food production.

Link to the article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10498850.2019.1682094
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 0.707


Josefina T. Dizon1, Maria Ana T. Quimbo1, Dinah Pura T. Depositario2
1Institute for Governance and Rural Development, College of Public Affairs & Development (UP Los Baños)
2Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship, College of Economics and Management (UP Los Baños)

Social Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change Impacts of Women-headed Households in the Philippines: A Comparative Analysis,
Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 22 (2): 36-54, 2019

Interview with some of the women-headed households

Climate change is a reality. It affects people from all walks of life particularly the vulnerable ones. Among these, the women-headed households are one of the most vulnerable sectors because of poverty. Women-headed households are households where the lone mothers bear both the responsibilities of being a mother and a father in the household. In order to understand their plights, this study was conducted to analyze the social vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change impacts of 162 women-headed households in two remote coastal communities in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur. The study shows women-headed households in the two remote coastal communities have moderate to high vulnerability in terms of demographic, economic, and social factors. Households with more family members with disabilities and bigger household sizes have lower adaptive capacity towards addressing climate change. A very important factor that increases the households’ adaptive capacity is their affiliation with social groups because they have access to better information and assistance. The study recommends formulating effective climate change policies and responsive strategies that enhance the rights and welfare of these households for equal distribution and access to resources, especially in socio-political structures in the community.

Significance:
This study is significant because it highlights the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of women-headed houses, the reasons why are they vulnerable to climate change and how their vulnerability can be addressed. The results of the study will help the government and other related institutions craft policies that will support the women-headed households to enhance their adaptive capacity and overcome their vulnerability.

Link to the article: https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/journals-uplb/index.php/JESAM/article/view/171
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 0.266


Ma. Kristina O. Paler1, Ma. Charisma T. Malenab2, Hildie Maria E. Nacorda1
1School of Environmental Science and Management (UP Visayas)
2Department of Social Development Service, College of Human Ecology (UP Visayas)

Plastic Waste Occurrence on a Beach off Southwestern Luzon, Philippines,
Marine Pollution Bulletin, 141: 416-419, 2019

Litter has become a global concern due to the socio-economic and ecological threats it has posed to marine ecosystems. Litter is primarily comprised of plastics (GESAMP, 2015; UNEP, 2016) and this increasing growth of plastic pollution in the ocean has reached a critical point, making the international community realize the gravity of the problem. The Philippines is one of the countries with the highest plastic waste inputs into the ocean yet there is a lack of information on the level of contamination by plastic wastes in local marine ecosystems. This study aims to provide a plastic litter profile on a local beach as an initial report on plastic waste contamination on a typical coast. Likewise, microplastic (MP) occurrence is measured to establish baseline data on the MP level. Results showed that, at sampling time, the beach had a high level of plastic contamination. The Clean-coast index was calculated at 13.14 (classified under ‘dirty’) and, indeed, plastics comprised 85% of the beach litter. The most abundant plastic litter was plastic wrapper as sachet, which is a common packaging type in the Philippines. Sachet is made of a small thin film of plastic and, at times, in composite with aluminum in a sealed sandwich laminate form with the product inside (Posadas, 2014). In the Philippines, twice more users preferred sachets over bottles of their products due to economic constraints (Ang and Sy-Changco, 2007). Furthermore, microplastic count sans fibers was at 0.26 items/g, which is comparable to regional data so far.

Significance:
Litter has become a global concern due to the socio-economic and ecological threats it has posed to marine ecosystems. Litter is primarily comprised of plastics (GESAMP, 2015; UNEP, 2016) and this increasing growth of plastic pollution in the ocean has reached a critical point, making the international community realize the gravity of the problem. The Philippines is one of the countries with the highest plastic waste inputs into the ocean yet there is a lack of information on the level of contamination by plastic wastes in local marine ecosystems. This study aims to provide a plastic litter profile on a local beach as an initial report on plastic waste contamination on a typical coast. Likewise, microplastic (MP) occurrence is measured to establish baseline data on the MP level. The baseline findings of this study are relevant for resource management policies and will help in advancing further researches in this area, to help abate water pollution.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.02.006
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 3.782