Breeding Programs

Growers have selected for desirable traits in Jerusalem artichokes since the early days of its cultivation, with the result that a large number of cultivars and clones have been described. The tubers have been the main focus of selection, with substantial variation occurring in size, shape, color, and yield (see Chapter 4). The first tubers taken to Europe were larger than wild tubers and have been continuously selected by growers since the 17th century. However, the first systematic breeding...

Direct Combustion

Direct combustion converts biomass to thermal energy. The removal of access moisture as a liquid (dewatering), the complete drying (dehydration), and the compaction or densification of biomass are critical processes to ensure efficient combustion. The energy expended in these processes must be compensated for by increased efficiency of conversion of biomass to energy, to make direct combustion economical. Combustion is carried out in incinerators, boilers, or furnaces under controlled...

Biomass and Biofuel

Industrial societies have come to rely on fossil fuels for their energy needs. However, fossil fuels (i.e., oil, coal, and natural gas) are nonrenewable resources extracted from rapidly depleting reserves, the major factor contributing to the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide responsible for global climate change, and increasingly a source of international conflict (e.g., Deffeyes, 2001 Heinberg, 2005 IPCC, 2007 Klare, 2004 Leggett, 2006 Roberts, 2005). A global shift in perspective...

Digestive Downsides

Jerusalem artichoke has beneficial effects on digestion. It is a good source of dietary fiber, for instance, which helps to bulk food and reduce constipation. However, there can be digestive downsides too. Human digestive enzymes do not target inulin. Around 89 (and up to 97 ) of the inulin and fructooligosaccharides that we consume, on average, remain intact in the small intestine (Andersson et al., 1999 Molis et al., 1996). As it is not digested, there tends to be a lot of inulin in the large...

The Immune System and Cancer Prevention

Inulin and fructooligosaccharides modulate the response of the immune system to illness, through the stimulation of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and the improvement of the general microfloral balance in the colon (Watzl et al., 2005 Yasui et al., 1992). In this role, prebiotics have been shown to promote the production of macrophages, lymphocytes, and antibodies, in particular the local production of immunoglobulin A (IgA)-positive cells in the intestines and cecal mucosa (Bornet, 2001...

Info

Judd, 2003 Klass, 1998 Ercoli et al., 1992 Schittenhelm, 1987 Franke, 1985 Guiraud et al., 1982 El Bassan, 1998 Kahnt and Leible, 1985 Chabbert et al., 1983 Zubr, 1988 Williams and Ziobro, 1982 Kara et al., 2005 Mays et al., 1990 Stolzenburg, 2006 Fernandez, 1998 Jerusalem artichoke mash, pulp, or juice provides a complete medium for cultures of yeasts and Z. mobilis bacteria in addition to carbohydrate, it supplies the necessary minerals and vitamins needed for growth (Duvnjak et al., 1981...

Blood Lipids and Heart Disease

Inulins and fructooligosaccharides help maintain the health of the cardiovascular system and may reduce the risk of heart disease. A key factor in this is the maintenance or improvement of blood lipid composition, through decreases in triglycerides (triacylglycerols), and the lowering of cholesterol and homocysteine levels (Hidaka et al., 2001 Luo et al., 1996 Tungland, 2003). Convincing lipid-lowering effects have been demonstrated in animals (e.g., Delzenne et al., 1993 Fiordaliso et al.,...

Biomass

Biomass refers to total dry weight of living material expressed in terms of volume or area. This organic material can be harvested as a source of energy. Plants store energy from sunlight in their various parts, which can be accessed through several technologies. Plant biomass can be burnt to generate heat energy or electricity, converted to liquid and transportable fuels, or used as a feedstock for the production of chemicals. It can also be used as compost or green manure, and converted into...

Inulin and Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which blood sugar is not properly taken up into cells. Thus, the level of glucose in the blood remains high. The uptake of glucose into the body's cells is controlled by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is due to the pancreas failing to produce sufficient insulin. It is often caused by genetic factors. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body's cells are unable to respond very efficiently to...