Alberto Lo Curto

Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (5)14.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Astaxanthin (C(40)H(52)O(4)) is an important natural pigment that has considerable promising applications in human health. Until now, many efforts were made aimed to develop economically sustainable bioprocesses alternative to the chemical synthesis, to satisfy the increasing demand of this ketocarotenoid from feed, food and cosmetic industries. The extraction of natural astaxanthin from the yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous till now seems to be rather expensive if compared with chemically synthesized astaxanthin. In this article, astaxanthin production by Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous under two different conditions was studied: a first effort was made using a conventional reactor while a second using an enlightened one. This research was aimed also to optimise astaxanthin production by testing the influence of the light and of some nutrient sources. From fermentation tests, an astaxanthin yield ranging about 970 µg g(-1) was obtained after fed batch cultivation in the conventional reactor. In the enlightened reactor lower values, about 930 µg g(-1), were found.
    Natural product research 05/2012; 27(7). DOI:10.1080/14786419.2012.688045 · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate survival of three commercial probiotic strains (Lactobacillus casei subsp. shirota, L. casei subsp. immunitas, Lactobacillus acidophilus subsp. johnsonii) in the human upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract using a dynamic gastric model (DGM) of digestion followed by incubation under duodenal conditions. Water and milk were used as food matrices and survival was evaluated in both logarithmic and stationary phase. The % of recovery in logarithmic phase ranged from 1.0% to 43.8% in water for all tested strains, and from 80.5% to 197% in milk. Higher survival was observed in stationary phase for all strains. L. acidophilus subsp. johnsonii showed the highest survival rate in both water (93.9%) and milk (202.4%). Lactic acid production was higher in stationary phase, L. casei subsp. shirota producing the highest concentration (98.2 mM) after in vitro gastric plus duodenal digestion.
    Food Microbiology 10/2011; 28(7):1359-66. DOI:10.1016/j.fm.2011.06.007 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study six probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains were investigated for their ability to survive in the human upper gastrointestinal tract through a dynamic gastric model of digestion. MRS broth was used as delivery vehicle and survival was investigated during in vitro gastric and gastric plus duodenal digestion. Results highlighted that all tested strains showed good survival rate during both gastric and duodenal digestion. In particular, three strains exhibited a great survival showing a recovery percentage in the range between 117 and 276%. In agreement with survival data, high lactic acid production was detected for all strains, confirming their metabolic activity during digestion.
    Food Microbiology 12/2010; 27(8):1121-7. DOI:10.1016/j.fm.2010.07.019 · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Biotechnology 11/2010; 150:327-328. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.09.330 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this new study was to determine the types and levels of major phytochemicals (non-nutrients) and nutrients in the different tissues from vegetative and flowering Moringa oleifera L. an important multipurpose crop. Rhamnose and acetyl-rhamnose-substituted glucosinolates were found in all of the M. oleifera tissues with different profiles depending on the tissue. In addition the tissues of M. oleifera had a relatively complex flavonoid profile consisting of glucosides, rutinosides, malonylglucosides and traces of acetylglucosides of kaempferol, quercetin and isorhamnetin. Fatty acid profiling of the different tissues showed that leaves were rich in palmitic (16:0) and linolenic (18:3) acid whereas seeds were predominated by oleic acid (18:1). Roots were rich in palmitic and oleic acid, whereas stems and twigs predominately contained palmitic acid. Potassium, magnesium and calcium were the predominant minerals in all of the tissues. Low levels of selenium were detected only in whole seeds.
    Food Chemistry 10/2010; 122(4-122):1047-1054. DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.03.073 · 3.26 Impact Factor