Shinkut Mathew

Title: Semen Characteristics Gonadal Sperm Reserve and Haematological Parameters of Rabbit Bucks fed Diets Supplemented with Allium sativum”

Shinkut Mathew, currently obtained a master’s degree in Theriogeneology


Abstract: This study was designed to evaluate the effects of graded levels of crude A sativum in diets of rabbit bucks on semen characteristic, haematological parameters, serum and antioxidant enzymes, sperm reserves and histopathology. Twenty-one (21) 10.0±2.1 months old, 1.8±0.2 kg average body weight rabbit bucks were used for this study. Bucks were randomly divided into 3 groups of 7 bucks each. Group A served as control, group B and C received 2.5% and 5.0% garlic in diets respectively. The study lasted for 63 days, the bucks were allowed to acclimatize for 49 days (for at least one spermatogenic cycle), during which semen, blood samples and live weight were taken to establish a base line data. During the study, semen samples were collected weekly between the hours of 8.00-10.00am using artificial vagina (AV) for evaluation, blood samples were also collected weekly for haematological evaluation. On the 62nd day of the study, 3mls of blood was collected through the marginal ear venepuncture from each buck into a non EDTA sample bottle for serum and antioxidant enzymes assay, three bucks from each group were humanely sacrificed and the testes and liver samples were harvested for sperm reserves and histopathology examinations. Data generated were analysed using Graph Pad Prism version 5.0, repeated measure one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences between groups, followed by Turkey’s multiple comparism test, values of P< 0.05 was considered significant. The phytoanalysis of A sativum indicated the presence of the following: carbohydrates, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones, saponin, triterpenes, flavonoids and alkaloids. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences in mean live weight among the groups. The results of semen analysis showed, no significant (P>0.05) difference in volume, pH, motility, % live spermatozoa and % abnormal sperms between control (group A) and treatment groups (B and C). However, the mean spermatozoa concentration differed significantly (P<0.05) among the groups in a dose dependant manner from week 3-9 of the study. PCV, Haemoglobin concentration and RBC counts were reduced, while blood protein were slighly increased in the treatment groups (B and C) in a dose dependant manner and there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in WBC count among the groups. Serum ALT, AST and ALP levels were decreased in the treatment groups in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, antioxidant enzyme assayed showed, a dose-dependent increase in SOD, CAT and Gpx concentration, while MDA levels was significantly (P<0.05) reduced in group C, compared to group A. Testicular and epididymal, weight and length did not differ significantly (P>0.05) among the groups. However, there were significant (P<0.05) increase in the sperm reserves of the left testis in a dose dependant manner and also both left and right epididymal sperm reserves were significantly (P<0.05) different in a dose dependent manner. In both testicular and epididymal, we observed an increased number of sperm cells in the left than right. There was no obvious histopathological lesion observed in both liver and testes of the control and treatment groups. However, there were increased number of sperm cells within the lumen of seminiferous tubules in the treatment groups in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion A sativum at 2.5 and 5.0 % inclusion rate improved spermatogenesis in rabbit bucks.


Tanimowo Omolara

Title: The Effect of Salting and Drying on the Quality of Snoek (Tyrsites atun).

Tanimowo Omolara, currently obtained a master’s degree in Food Sciences.

Abstract: Snoek (Thyrsites atun) is an important commercial fish species in South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape province.  Snoek is mainly sold as fresh fish with excess fish being processed into dried salted fish.  Although fishing is regulated by the various government agencies, the processing chain of snoek is largely unmonitored and unstandardized which has resulted in variable snoek quality becoming available to the consumer. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the quality (proximate, biochemical composition and microbiological safety) of salted and dried snoek products both experimentally and through market sampling.  This was achieved by investigating two lines of research: 1) Establishing the quality of locally sold salted and dried snoek from informal vendors and 2) Investigating the effects of different levels of salting (%) and drying (relative humidity and temperature) conditions on snoek meat quality.  Product quality was assessed through the analysis of proximate composition, fatty acid composition, physico-chemical attributes, water activity, moisture loss, salt content and microbial safety and oxidative stability. Moisture,  protein,  lipid,  and  ash  contents  of  snoek  varied  substantially  between vendors, thereby providing products with variable quality to consumers.  The water activity and TBARS (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) of snoek from all vendors were higher than the reported threshold for good quality dried fish, indicating high levels of lipid oxidation. The level of TBARS and water activity varied between 9.58-19.83 mg MDA.Kg-1, and 0.75- 0.85, respectively.    This  is  undesirable  in  dried  fish  products  as  high  water  activity predisposes the products to spoilage.   These findings indicate that the salted and dried snoek retailed in the Western Cape province require further drying to reduce the water activity in order to ultimately prolong the shelf life of the product.  However, low histamine, high salt, low microbial counts and the absence of pathogens (Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli) were observed which suggests that the products were wholesome at time of sale. An assessment of the effects of salting and drying on water activity, moisture loss, and salt content of Cape snoek was carried out.  The treatments included 0% salt (unsalted) and salting at 20% salt concentration and salt saturation; the treated snoek portions were dried at 30°C/40% RH (relative humidity), 40°C/40% RH and 40°C/50% RH.  During the salting process higher moisture loss resulted in high weight loss and low water activity in snoek portions salted to saturation compared to 20% (w/w).   Once oven drying commenced the unsalted snoek portions had significantly higher moisture loss, higher weight loss but higher water activity than the salted groups.  Lower salt content (12.8%), higher product yield and higher water activity were observed in snoek treated with 20% salt compared to those treated with saturated salt (23.6% salt).  Low water activity and a salt content above 6% inhibits microbial growth and prevents spoilage of salted dried fish; therefore, the salt content of  the  salted  snoek  (12.8%  for  20%  salted).after  the  drying  process  is  adequate  for preventing microbial spoilage. A study examining the drying kinetics of snoek determined the moisture ratio, drying rate and effective moisture diffusivity of salted (20% w/w) and unsalted snoek dried at different drying environments (30°C/40% RH; 40°C/40% RH; 40°C/50% RH).  A number of mathematical models (Lewis/Newton, Page, Henderson, Pabis and asymptotic logarithmic) were tested to predict the drying kinetics of snoek where the most effective predictive model was the Page model (r2 = 0.9999; mean square error = 6.6 x 10-6).  The Page model showed that salting at 20% and drying at 40°C/40% RH was the best treatment with the highest effective moisture diffusivity (1.54 x 10-5) among the salt treatments, which is an indication of high drying rate.  Therefore, the Page model can be used to optimise the drying process and design of dryers for snoek processing.  The drying conditions, various treatments and their interactions (p ≤ 0.05) significantly influenced the drying rate and moisture content of snoek portions.  Low effective moisture diffusivity and drying rate were observed in salted portions, emphasising the effect of salting on drying of snoek. This study has provided baseline information on the quality of locally sold dried snoek and established that salting at 20% and drying at 40°C/40% RH is adequate for the production of consistent quality salted dried snoek.  Further research is needed to study the effects of salting and drying on the nutritional quality and shelf life of snoek.