Journal Highlights November 2020

02 November 2020

SCI’s peer reviewed journals provide research studies and commentary articles undertaken by leading scientists in emerging areas, addressing global audiences by crossing academic, industrial and science policy sectors.

Here we highlight some of the most recent papers from our journals. To view the full range of SCI’s journals, visit our Publications page.

Identifying almond allergens


Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI:10.1003/jsfa.10417

Almonds, while well regarded for their nutritional value, fall within one of the Big Eight food groups that are responsible for more than 90% of the allergy cases in the US. The Big Eight food group comprises tree nuts, peanuts, milk, egg, (crustacean) shellfish, wheat, soy and fish. While milk and egg allergies are generally mild and transient, peanut and tree nut allergies are often persistent, severe and life threatening. Peanut allergies have received a lot of attention and research, however, among tree nuts, almonds are the one of the most likely to trigger an allergic reaction but have not been investigated as closely as peanuts.

Most food allergens are proteins, and researchers in the US have provided an update on the molecular properties of almond allergens to clarify some confusion about the identities of almond allergens. Almonds have five known allergens and it is likely that there are another five that need further investigation.

A biorefinery upgrade

Biorefinery concept illustration

Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology DOI:10.1002/jctb.6444

The biorefinery now has a significant role to play as the world looks to develop its green economy. The desire to achieve efficient conversion of biomass material into both energy and value-added products requires a combination of technologies and processes. To this end researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, UK have investigated the photocatalytic reforming of feedstock such as glycerol to hydrogen. To achieve the conversion, researchers report the use of Pt-TiO2 film used to coat the inner wall of thin borosilicate glass columns before being irradiated by low power UV sources. The researchers said that to date there have been no examples in the literature of such a unit being deployed for glycerol reforming. The development of this system, the researchers say, demonstrates that immobilised reactor designs are not just suitable for glycerol reforming to hydrogen, but present a potential method for feasible scale-up.

Developing greener solvents

Male hand hold yellow liquid in test tube

Polymer International DOI:10.1002/pi.6072

With increasing legislation calling for greener chemicals, the solvents available for industrial dissolution of polymers become smaller. An estimated 78% of solvent use in the European Union is in sectors such as paints and coatings, printing inks and adhesives. Academic research in safe, sustainable solvents is growing, but largely in the field of reaction solvents, leaving research into solvents for polymers underdeveloped by comparison. Researchers in the UK say that this challenge can be addressed through the adoption of computational tools, improved communication between academic and industry and increased research funding.

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