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This was part of my Msc research findings

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Charles Otieno Onindo
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Increased cases of deaths as a result of taking home made brews/spirits have been a major concern in our country. Recently, many lives have been lost due to the ignorance of the brewers and their patrons. This study was carried out to determine the levels of nitrate in home -made brews, home -made spirits, raw materials and water. Four hundred and forty (440) home -made alcoholic beverages, one hundred and ten (110) water and eighteen (18) raw materials samples obtained from various parts of Nairobi slums and its environs were analyzed for nitrate. UV-visible Spectrophotometry was used in the research. Some samples contained analyte values above limits set. The concentrations of nitrate varied from non detectable (ND) to 46.3 ± 1.404 mg/l. The recommended maximum contamination levels set by KEBS/WHO for nitrate in alcohols is nitrate 50 mg/l. Most of the home made brews and spirits analyzed in this study had values slightly lower than the levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Values of nitrate were observed to be generally high in the brews/spirits and the raw materials used. The raw materials may have contributed in elevating the levels of these pollutants in the brews. These findings are therefore useful since they provide a justified cause for the Kenyan Government to fight the selling of local alcoholic beverages.
Jane Igoki Murungi
added 2 research items
Patients who have undergone bypass surgery often find the bypasses fill up again with plaque ("new plaque") whereas the heart arteries not bypassed contain plaque deposited since childhood ("old plaque"). A preliminary study was undertaken to characterize and contrast the chemical compositions of these “new”; and “old”; plaques.The samples were obtained from a particular surgeon. His patients had had bypass surgery but the bypasses had refilled over a period of a few years. In the surgery both bypassed and non‐bypassed arteries were reopened as necessary to improve circulation by surgically drilling out some plaque. This plaque was analyzed.Each particular sample was divided into two portions. One portion was used for lipid analysis using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) while the other portion was used for the determination of selected metals using Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP). The results are summarized below. 1. The analytical procedures (HPLC and ICP) were fast and reliable techniques for plaque characterization and provided extensive information.2. Phospholipids, lipids, and triglycerides were found in the plaque but the types of phospholipids, lipids and triglycerides varied from one patient to the next.3. Cholesterol and/or cholesterol esters such as oleate, linoleate and arachidonate were found in both old and newly deposited plaque but not all samples contained cholesterol.4. The results of metal analyses indicated there was increased deposition of Cu, Zn, Mn, Ca, Mg and P in the newly deposited plaque compared to the old plaque, but Na, Cr, Fe and K decreased in concentration in the new material.5. The concentrations of calcium and phosphorus were almost sixteen times higher in the new plaque compared to the old deposits.6. Ca/Mg and Ca/Na ratios was much higher in the new material than the old plaque and the ratio in both the old and the new was much higher than in normal blood. For example the average Ca/Mg ratio in the new plaque was found to be about 77/1 while in the old plaque it was found to be 28/1 in matched samples. The normal ratio in the blood plasma is around 3/1.7. The Cu/Zn ratios were less than 1/1 in all samples. The ratio in the new material was lower than in the old.8. Results suggest a change in body metabolism in later life leading to the formation of a different plaque from that deposited in earlier life.
Twenty-five samples of soft plaque and calcified plaque deposits from human hearts or aorta were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The determined elements were Ca, P, Na, K, Mg, Zn, Cu, Ba, Pb, Fe, Al, Si, and S. Results showed that the concentration of all elements in the soft plaque was at the micromolar level. In the calcified deposits, the concentrations of Ca and P were at least an order of magnitude higher than the soft plaque, but the other elements were at the same order of magnitude. In the calcified plaque the molar ratios of Ca/P suggested that a significant portion existed as hydroxyapatite Ca10(PO4)6(OH)3. However, their absolute concentrations indicated that this compound was not a major component of the plaque although it may play a major role in determining the crystal structure of the deposit. In some samples the Ca/P ratio was too high to conform to hydroxyapatite. In others it was too low. This indicated that both the calcium and phosphorus existed in other chemical forms which varied from sample to sample. In the soft tissue the P level was high indicating it existed primarily in chemical forms other than hydroxyapatite. The presence of homocysteine is often associated with heart disease. However, the low levels of sulfur indicate that although it may be present, it is not a major component of the plaque, but may nevertheless play an important role in its formation.
Jeremiah Odhek Masime
added a research item
This study was carried out to determine the levels of nitrate in homemade brews, spirits and the used raw materials using the UV-Visible spectroscopy. These were analyzed using, a SHADZU (Model No. UV-2550) UV-Visible spectrophotometer. The measurement was based on ISO Method (N0.6635). This was done by reducing the nitrate to nitrite in the presence of Zn/NaCl. Nitrite produced was subsequently diazotized with sulphonilic acid then coupled with anthranilate to form an azo dye which was then measured at 493 nm. Four hundred and forty (440) home -made alcoholic beverages, one hundred and ten (110) tap water and eighteen (18) raw materials (maize, millet, for sorghum, honey, jaggery and muratina) samples obtained from various parts of Nairobi slums and its environs were analyzed. Some samples contained high levels of nitrate though slightly lower than the limits. The concentrations of nitrate varied from non detectable (ND) to 46.3 ± 1.404 mg/l (the detection limit and analitation limit of nitrite determination were found to be 0.93 µg/ml and 2.82 µg/ml respectively). The recommended maximum contamination levels set by Kenya Bureau of Standards/World Health Organization for nitrate in alcohols is nitrate 50 mg/l. Most of the homemade brews and spirits analyzed in this study had values slightly lower than the levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Values of nitrate were observed to be generally high in the brews/spirits and the raw materials used. These raw materials may have contributed in elevating the levels of these pollutants in the brews. The results indicate that the UV-Visible spectroscopy method is suitable for analyzing the presently studied samples. This is a reliable and cheap method for routine analysis of a large number of homemade brews/spirits samples.
Charles Otieno Onindo
added a research item
Copper‐based fungicides are extensively used in the control of coffee pests and diseases because they are relatively cheap and effective. This practice presents serious environmental implications owing to the toxic nature of copper. We report here an assessment on the effects of the use of copper‐based fungicides on River Kamiti, which flows along coffee growing areas of Kiambu District, Kenya. The levels of copper in the river were determined using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS) and were found to range from 0.3 to 2.38 x 10‐2 mgL‐1. It was observed that high levels of copper coincided with coffee spraying seasons and a high amount rainfall, indicating that these contributed to increased seepage of copper in the river. Active pulping factories on both sides of the geographical regions were also found to be a source of the same. Statistical analysis on the experimental data of copper levels from the study sites showed that there was no significant difference between the regions implying that the sampling sites were not the source of variation. Although there is clear evidence that coffee farming introduces copper into the river, the levels of copper in Kamiti river were found to be within acceptable limits and this would be attributed to dilution effects. However, at specific points, the levels of copper were very high threatening the survival of aquatic animals, thus the use of copper compounds is of environmental concern. Keywords: Copper, fungicides, river water
Jeremiah Odhek Masime
added 2 research items
This study was carried out to determine the levels of arsenic in the home-made brews, home-made spirits, raw materials and water. One hundred and thirty two home -made alcoholic beverages, one hundred and ten water and eighteen raw materials samples obtained from various parts of Nairobi slums and its environs were analyzed for arsenic. The method of analysis was hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy. All home-made brews samples contained concentrations of arsenic that were lower than the standard for total arsenic allowed in water. The concentrations of arsenic in both brew and water ranged from ND to 0.88 ± 0.028 mg/L. These concentrations in these homemade brews and raw materials used varied depending on the brew. The recommended maximum contamination levels set by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and WHO for arsenic in alcohols is 0.05 mg/L. Values of arsenic obtained in the drinks and the raw materials used were generally low. This also implies that the tap water and home-made brews are safe. In general, those consuming home-made brews are the young and elderly living in the slum areas in Nairobi County and it is these populations that is more vulnerable to over exposure of this metal. It is recommended that foods and drinks be tested for arsenic regularly to determine whether they meet the EPA/WHO standards.
Homemade brews and the raw materials used can be a major source of nitrate and nitrite in human diet. Because of the potential health hazards result in . high intake of nitrate and nitrite, determination of these ions content in Homemade brews and the raw materials used. Sources of nitrites include vegetables, fruit, and processed meats The aim of this research was to determine the concentration of nitrite in Homemade brews and the raw materials sampled from eleven stations in Nairobi County -Kenya. So, a total of one hundred and thirty two (132) home-made alcoholic beverages, forty eight (48) water and eighteen (18) raw materials samples were analyzed for nitrite. These were analyzed using, a SHADZU (Model No. UV-2550) UV-Visible spectrophotometer. The measurement was based on ISO Method (N0.6635). The detection limit and analitation limit of nitrite determination were found to be 0.93 µg/ml and 2.82 µg/ml respectively. The recommended maximum contamination levels set by Kenya Bureau of Standards/World Health Organization for nitrate in alcohols is nitrite 0.003 mg/l Data has been analyzed with p value and ANOVA. According to the results, the average of nitrite content in all of the samples was more than standard limits. Homemade brews and the raw materials used had significantly higher nitrite differences (p<0.05).