The Shift to Home Meal Replacement Consumption in Convenience Stores

Taiwan represents one of the most advanced markets for convenience stores. It has the world’s highest density of convenience stores per person. Moreover, the business model of convenience stores in Taiwan is not only sophisticated but also continuingly evolving. Because convenience stores can be found almost everywhere in Taiwan, they have many opportunities to offer very diverse product and services. Therefore, the changes that happened in Taiwan’s convenience stores may provide some insight to managers in other countries. And right now, Home Meal Replacement (HMR) is the new power for the sales growth of convenience stories in Taiwan.

HMR is “a meal taken directly or through a brief cooking process in convenience stores or at home by purchasing ready to eat or ready to end-cook type of food.” (Jang, Kim, & Yang, 2011) Although HMR has been introduced in supermarkets for more than thirty years, it is recently getting more and more popular in convenience stores, and therefore draws attention from researchers and practitioners alike. This meal solution has been perceived as a major opportunity for sales growth in convenience stores. To cope with this trend, many convenience stores in Taiwan have redesigned the store layout to provide more space to sell more types of fresh foods. According to the 7-11 annual report, HMR accounted for about 16.5% of total sales in 2010.

Although convenience stores in Taiwan have served HMR for decades, it was not until recently that convenience stores begin to provide a wide range of fresh foods. Nowadays, consumers can freely choose rice, porridge, side dishes, salad, retort food (soup, broth, curry, spaghetti, etc.), and so on in a convenience store at any time just as if they were in a cafeteria. The evolution of HMR reflects a dramatic change in food consumption lifestyle. It is totally different from eat-out (food-away-from-home) or home-prepared meals, and was call as the “meddle meal,” “fresh food” or “foods to go” in different countries. HMR is getting more and more important in many countries (Jang et al., 2011; Kamata, 2010) and is estimated by global industry analysts to reach 91 billion sales by 2015 in the global market. However, there has been relatively little research conducted on this issue from the consumer’s point of view. The present study tries to contribute on this issue.

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(Author: Cheng-Hsi Fang, Yueh-Chuen Huang, Yu-Yeh Chiu

 Published by Macrothink Institute)

Administration of Hot Water Extract Diatomae Caetoceros Ceratosporum via Injection Enhances the Immune Resistance of White Shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei against Infectious Myonecrosis Virus

Main problem to the shrimp culture failure is disease attack caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria. One of the efforts done for disease control in the shrimps culture is by disease prevention by means of increasing shrimp immune system.

Increasing shrimp immune system against disease could be done through immunostimulant administration (Treves-Brown, 2000), one of them using polysaccharide compound. Exopolysaccharide sulfate is a polysaccharide produced by microalgae and applied as anti virus agent, healthy food, antioxidant, anti inflammation and as part of immunomodulatory system (Raposo et al., 2013).

Microalgae diatomae contains polysaccharides with a wide structural rate and can be explored as an active biological content (Skjermo et al., 2006). Polysaccharides extract from C. mulleri could help enhance immune system of Gadus morhua L. (Skjermo et al., 2006). Polysaccharides extract A. orientalis could help increasing immune response and survival rate of shrimps against infection of White spot syndrome virus (Manilal et al., 2009). Polysaccharides produced by Arthrospira plantesis and Porphyridium purpureum resists anti virus strain activity of V. virus dan E. virus (Radonic et al., 2010).

Chaetoceros sp. diatomae was known to have a high antioxidant activity, more than 90% (Natrah, 2007), and produce Hexadecatrienoic-6,9,12-acid and Hexadecadienoic-9,12-acid (Wang, 1999). Whole cell C. ceratosporum in woof can indirectly increase immune response of tiger shrimp, C. mulleri contains β-D-(1-3)-glucan while C. debilis contains β-D-(1-3,1-6)-glucan. β-glucan is an imunostimulative polysaccharide derivative. How the injection of hot water extract C. ceratosporum (HWEC) influences immune response of L. vannamei infected by IMNV is not yet known. Therefore, the objective of this research is to know immune response change of L. vannamei injected with HWEC against IMNV infection, covering change in THC (total haemocyte count), TPP (total protein plasma), phenoloxidase (PO) activity, respiratory burst (RB) activity and shrimp survival rate (SR).

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(Author: Erika Saraswati, Arief Prajitno, Uun Yanuhar, A. Latief Abadi

 Published by Macrothink Institute)

Zoning Model on Conservation in the Ecosystem Islands Southeast Aru

Ecosystem conservation was an effort to protect, to preserve, and to utilize the ecosystem function as the supporting habitat for the living of fish resources either for recent or future days (Adams et al, 2004). Indeed, ecosystem conservation was realized through the protection of habitat and population of the fish, the research and development, the utilization of fish resource and environmental service, the development of community socio-economic, the supervision and control, and/or the monitoring and evaluation. Community-based conservation and its development became a new paradigm either for the government or non-government organization with great engagement within conservation activity (Browder, 2002; Gjertsen, 2005). Great complexity was apparent when the question whether the conservation had achieved the expectation should be answered because the achievement was always related to the utilization rate of human (Jackson and Sala, 2001; Stachowitsch, 2003; Halpern et al, 2008). Human resource has very big effect in the coastal ecosystem. The conflict of human activities only gave simultaneous pressure and exploitation against coastal natural resources (Crain et al., 2008; Darling and Côté, 2008; Doak et al., 2008; Halpern et al., 2008).

A method for effective management of coastal and sea resources was by developing Waters Conservation Area (KKP). This method involved allocating some proportions of coast and sea areas to be used as the protection site for important resource, such as for good site for spawning and breeding. The zoning plan of Waters Conservation Area was aligned with Act No.31 of 2004 but revised by Act No. 45 of 2009 about Fishery, and also complying with Government Regulation No. 60 of 2007 about Fish Resource Conservation. Both laws explained that KKP zoning consisted of core zone, sustainable fishery zone, utilization zone, and other zone. For specific cases, there were sub-zones which remained as part of these four main zones but its determination was always based on potential, characteristic and socio-economical consideration of local community.

Southeast Aru Area represented a conservation area in Indonesia. This area was stated as conservation area based on the survey result of biophysical and socio-economical potentials. This survey showed that this area must be retained because it had endemic resources which should be protected, including turtle, dugong, crocodile, and its ecosystem diversity. To understand the relationship between human pressure and ecosystem status in the area, it was very important to develop spatial and zoning plans (Douvere, 2008). It seemed difficult to understand the relationship between human activity and ecosystem status because of (1) pressure rate against ecosystem (Shears dan Ross, 2010) and (2) limited fundamental information about ecosystem in relation to its status and impact potential (Halpern et al, 2008; Fraschetti et al, 2009).

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(Author: Fernando D.W, Dangeubun, B. Wiryawan, Mustarudin Mustarudin, A. Purbayanto, J. M. S. Tetelepta

 Published by Macrothink Institute)

Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on Genetic Variability of Yeasts inhabiting Mangrove sediments of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Mangroves are coastal wetland forests established at intertidal zones of estuaries, deltas, creeks, lagoons, marshes and mudflats of tropical and subtropical latitudes (Ananda & Sridhar, 2004). Approximately one fourth of the world’s coastline is dominated by mangroves that are distributed in 112 countries and cover about 180,000 km2 of the globe’s surface in subtropical and tropical regions (Latha & Mitra, 1998). Among marine ecosystems, mangroves constitute the second most important ecosystem in productivity. Mangrove forests are believed to be an important sink of suspended sediments (Kathiresan & Bingham, 2001). In these forests, mangrove trees catch sediment by their complex aerial root structure, thus functioning as land builder (Holguin et al., 2001). They also generate considerable amount of detritus such as leaf litter and woody debris hence constitute an ideal environment that support or harbor diverse groups of marine animals, plants and microorganisms that are widely acknowledged to be important elements in coastal ecosystems in the tropics (Holguin et al., 2001). Mangroves preserve water quality and reduce pollution by filtering suspended materials and by assimilating dissolved nutrients, stabilize sediments and protect the shoreline from erosion.

In mangrove sediment communities, substantial fungal populations exist as part of the vast microbial diversity involved in detritus processing (Abdel-Wahab, 2005). Marine fungi (which are those that grow and sporulate exclusively in a marine or estuarine habitat) are major decomposers of woody and herbaceous substrata in marine ecosystems, where they also degrade dead animals (Kohlmeyer et al., 1996a). Marine fungi are the primary degraders of lignin, cellulose and other plant components in mangroves as they can synthesize all the necessary enzymes (Singh & Steinke, 1992; Bremer, 1995). Marine fungi play an important role in the complex microbial mediated nutrient cycling processes and biodegradation of xenobiotics such as petroleum and its derivatives (De Araujo et al., 1995).

Yeasts are fungi that predominantly exist as unicellular organisms and at present there are about 1500 recognized yeast species which are distributed between the ascomycetes and the basidiomycetes (Kurtzman & Fell, 2005; Botha, 2011).Yeasts play a role in maintenance of soil and sediment structure and aggregate formation. Also, Yeasts participate in soil nutrient cycles and mineralization processes. On the other hand, Yeasts serve as a nutrient source for a diversity of soil predators and they have potential as plant growth promoters and soil conditioners (Yurkov et al., 2012). However, among the marine microbiota in East Africa, it is only bacteria that have been investigated and reported (Lyimo, 1999; Machiwa, 1999; Marshal, 1994 & Mgaya et al., 2004), leaving the potential of East African fungal diversity unfamiliar.

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(Author: Eva M. Sosovele, Ken M. Hosea

 Published by Macrothink Institute)

The Reproductive Aspect of Tropical Abalone (Haliotis asinina L.) in the Waters of Tanakeke Islands at South Sulawesi

Abalone (Haliotis asinina) is a mollusk species that belonged to gastropode/snail class. It was identified by its shape of ear, and thus, it was called as ‘donkey ear’. This abalone was a popular export commodity. It was favorite food among people in other countries such as Japan, United States, Europe Countries, Columbia and Canada. Because its delicious meat. Indeed, 100 grams abalone meat contained 83 calories, 59 mg cholesterol, 0.1 g lipid, 2.7 g carbohydrate, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, as well as some minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium.

Market demand was high, and therefore, abalone was continually exploited and subjected to the reduction of population (Maliao et al., 2004). The preservation of abalone resources must need management actions, including the management of hauling, the closure of hauling region and season, the limitation of work quantity and hauling outcome, or the prevail of quota system (Rounsefell, 1975, Gulland, 1977). However, cultivation was a solution that was recently coming into consideration.

Abalone cultivation was always possible if the seed was available in constant. To obtain the seed in constant, thus, seeding was needed. However, a main problem in abalone seeding was lack of availability of local prime. A location that was expected to become the producer of local abalone prime was Tanakeke Islands, an island cluster in the Spermonde Islands. Tanakeke was, in fact, abalone hauling site. Coral reefs were surrounding the island (Yunus, 2009).

One of the problems in the abalone hatchery has been the availability of a local broodstock. Therefore, information about the existence and potential of the local broodstock that can be as the source of the broodstock for purposes of abalone hatchery in South Sulawesi. Review on the reproductive biological aspect, thus, should be very important.

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(Author: Hadijah Hadijah, Ambo Tuwo, Magdalena Litaay, Erni Indrawati

 Published by Macrothink Institute)

Battery Recycling Technologies: Recycling Waste Lithium Ion Batteries with the Impact on the Environment In-View

The environmental pollution caused by the valuable chemical components such as cobalt, copper, lithium, mixture of organic electrolyte and salts of either low quality or spent lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) deposited into the environments necessitates responsive recovery technologies. Since Sony made the first commercial lithium-ion cell in 1991, it has been accorded more attention being superior to other types of batteries in terms of energy density, which is a critical parameter for portable electronics as well as hybrid and electric vehicles. Lithium ion batteries are the systems preferred as electrochemical power sources in portable batteries segment such as mobile telephones, personal computers, video-cameras and other modern-life appliances as well as in vehicles with electric drive due to its favorable characteristics (Contestabile et al., 2001; Gaines, 2011; Nan et al., 2005; Wang et al., 2011). As LiBs progressively dominate, the amounts of valuable chemical components that will be deposited will be proportional to the number of LiBs used after their life-span has expired. Therefore, recycling that constitutes the most generally acceptable environmentally friendly method of managing these wastes must be taken serious, to minimize environmental toxicity, for economic gains and reduction in dependence on foreign resources or on virgin materials for productions in the industry as well as for sustainability of the natural resources (Contestabile et al., 1999; Dewulf, et al., 2010; Graham-Rowe, 2010; Hitachi, 2011; Kumar, 2011; Wang et al., 2011). The methods could be on the laboratory scale, industrial or commercial scale level. These as-recovered metals or their respective compounds (cobalt, lithium, manganese, and nickel) are not only valuable metals but are alternative precursors for new batteries formulations. Thus, several attempts have been made to review the old processes considered green and non-green chemistries to either improve on the existing ones or propose new recovery processes that are considered simple and of industrial-scale (Kondás et al, 2006; Nan et al., 2005). However, the cells used in cell phones and laptops are not fully recycled and consequently causing unsustainable open loop in the industrial cycle (Wang et al., 2011).

Although according to the U.S. government, spent LiBs have been classified as non-environmentally hazardous wastes or rather call “green batteries” and thus safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream unlike other battery chemistries that contain Cd, Pb or Hg, the presence of flammable and toxic elements or compounds may make their safe disposal to become a serious problem. For instance, the mixture of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and ethylene carbonate (EC) used as solvent is flammable, while the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) used as binder irrespective of its percentage in the battery formulation is toxic when burns consequent to the release of gaseous HF. Besides, the NMP commonly used as a solvent for the electrode active materials (cathode and anode) fabrication during slurry preparation has been reported as toxic and therefore environmentally incompatible (Alfonso et al., 2004; Castillo et al., 2002; Mitchell, 2006; Robert, 2000; Roth and Orendorff, 2012; Wang et al., 2011). As there is a general saying and belief that “health is wealth”, similarly, “healthy environment is a wealthy environment”. On the other hand, “polluted environment is an unhealthy and un-wealthy environment”. Therefore, recycling is of great importance to save our immediate environment and for waste management sustainability.

Macrozoobenthos Soft Soils of the Far Eastern Marine Biosphere Reserve

This study analyzed the composition and distribution of the macrozoobenthos of the soft soils
of the Far Eastern Marine Biosphere Reserve. Found 176 species, classified in six groups:
Polychaeta, Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Cumacea, Isopoda, Echinodermata. The greatest variety of
typical for polychaete worms (67 species) and bivalves (48 species). Found that the
coefficient of variation in the ratio of the number of major taxonomic groups for soft ground
of sublittoral reserve (1.02) is slightly higher than for water areas with domination of the soft
soils in northern latitudes (area of Spitsbergen and the North Sea), and is closer to that of the
bays and coves of the South China Sea and the North-East coast of Australia.

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(Author: Latypov Yuri Yakovlevich

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Opportunistic Network Coding for Real-Time Transmission over Wireless Networks

With the growing popularity of wireless personal devices and services and the increasing demand for real-time multimedia applications, such as video streaming and videoconferencing, there is a pressing need to support various multimedia services over the wireless medium, simultaneously. However, multimedia transfer has stringent quality-of-service constraints on packet delivery time, throughput, packet order, and inter-packet delay. For example, if a packet is not received within an acceptable delay (usually milliseconds), the packet is dropped rather than being retransmitted. Furthermore, in wireless networks, such traffic-intense applications would overwhelm the limited resources of the wireless nodes and degrade the quality of the received media due to the increasing demand for bandwidth and the large number of the packet collisions.

Many techniques, in different layers of the network stack, were developed for the purpose of improving the performance of multimedia transfer. For example, in some application layer protocols, multimedia traffic is compressed before transmission in order to save both storage and bandwidth. In addition, some transport layer protocols support multimedia transfer, but with limitations. For instance, the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which is an Internet standard protocol, is simple and efficient, but it does not guarantee the delivery of the packets; causing reliability problems. Other protocols, such as the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), and Real-time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP), were built on top of UDP in order to make it more reliable.

One of the recent techniques that has been used to improve the network performance is network coding. The advent of network coding has reformed the way traffic is routed in wired and wireless networks. By allowing relay nodes to combine incoming independent information flows, network coding can improve the overall network capacity and allow more traffic flows to be delivered without severely impacting the overall performance of the network. With network coding, instead of treating each packet independently, a number of packets are encoded and sent as one packet. Thus, the node’s resources are efficiently utilized, more packets are delivered, and, as a result, the overall network capacity and throughput are improved.

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(Author: Moad Yassin Mowafi, Fahed Hasan Awad, Mohammed A Al-Batati

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on Genetic Variability of Yeasts inhabiting Mangrove sediments of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The objective of the study was to investigate changes in natural yeast populations in mangrove sediments as a result of human (anthropogenic activities) disturbance. DNA techniques in form of Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) – PCR was employed in this study to assess the genetic variability of yeasts isolated from a natural sediment (non impacted) known as Ras Dege and another mangrove ecosystem which has been impacted  (polluted with sewage runoffs) known as Mtoni Kijichi both along the coast of  Dar es Salaam. A total of 25 morphologically different yeasts from the two mangrove sites were isolated and their genetic variability was investigated.

The RAPD-PCR profiles did reveal more yeast genotypes (higher variability) in Ras Dege area compared to those at Mtoni Kijichi. Implying that, the anthropogenic activities have modified and reduced the diversity of mangrove yeasts to fewer genotypes. The results of this study points out to the negative impacts of dumping of untreated waste water in mangrove ecosystems.

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(Author: Eva M. Sosovele, Ken M. Hosea

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Isotherm, Kinetic and Thermodynamic of Adsorption of Heavy Metal Ions onto Local Activated Carbon

In this work, the adsorption isotherm, Kinetic and thermodynamic of removal of Fe3+, Cu2+, Pb2+ and Zn2+) ions by activated carbon produced from rice husk were studied.

The results shown that the Freundlich isotherm model achieved best fit with the equilibrium adsorption data for adsorption of (Fe3+, Cu2+ and Pb2+) ions, it is indicates to multilayer adsorption nature of these metal ions on RHAC. The adsorption capacity (Kf) of the adsorbent have a value of (312.1, 628.93 and 162.66 mg/g) for (Fe3+, Cu2+ and Pb2+), respectively. The Langmuir isotherm model gives best fit with the equilibrium adsorption data, it is instated to monolayer adsorption nature of (Zn2+) ions on RHAC. The monolayer adsorption capacity (Q) have a value of (714.285 mg/g).

The adsorption kinetics were followed the pseudo-second-order model, this model gives the best- fit to experimental data for all heavy metal ions which studied in this work. which have highest correlation coefficient values of (0.988 ,0.996 ,0.999 and 0.9232) for (Cu2+, Fe3+, Pb2+ and Zn2+), respectively. Also, the adsorption thermodynamic showed that the adsorption of heavy metal ions becomes more feasibility with increasing in temperature due to negative values of ΔG. The adsorption process is endothermicdue to positive values of ΔH.

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(Author: Abbas Sabah Thajeel.

Published by Macrothink Institute)