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  • Kamyab, Elham; Goebeler, Norman; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Rohde, Sven; Reverter, Miriam; Striebel, Maren; Schupp, Peter J. (2020)
    Sea cucumbers are bottom dwelling invertebrates, which are mostly found on subtropical and tropical sea grass beds, sandy reef flats, or reef slopes. Although constantly exposed to fouling communities in these habitats, many species are surprisingly free of invertebrate epibionts and microfouling algae such as diatoms. In our study, we investigated the anti-fouling (AF) activities of different crude extracts of tropical Indo-Pacific sea cucumber species against the fouling diatom Cylindrotheca closterium. Nine sea cucumber species from three genera (i.e., Holothuria, Bohadschia, Actinopyga) were selected and extracted to assess their AF activities. To verify whether the sea cucumber characteristic triterpene glycosides were responsible for the observed potent AF activities, we tested purified fractions enriched in saponins isolated from Bohadschia argus, representing one of the most active anti-fouling extracts. Saponins were quantified by vanillin-sulfuric acid colorimetric assays and identified by LC-MS and LC-MS/MS analyses. We were able to demonstrate that AF activities in sea cucumber extracts were species-specific, and growth inhibition as well as attachment of the diatom to surfaces is dependent on the saponin concentration (i.e., Actinopyga contained the highest quantities), as well as on the molecular composition and structure of the present saponins (i.e., Bivittoside D derivative was the most bioactive compound). In conclusion, the here performed AF assay represents a promising and fast method for selecting the most promising bioactive organism as well as for identifying novel compounds with potent AF activities for the discovery of potentially novel pharmacologically active natural products.
  • EFSA Panel Nutr Novel Foods Food A; Turck, Dominique; Heinonen, Marina (2020)
    Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the safety of 'Hovenia dulcis fruit extract' as a novel food (NF) for its use in food supplements. The NF concerns a hot water extract of sliced and dried fruits and peduncles of Hovenia dulcis Thun. The production process is described in sufficient detail but contains contradictory information regarding the mixing with another ingredient of the NF. The NF is comprised of mostly carbohydrates (about 90%), about 2% proteins, 5% moisture, less than 1% fat and about 2% ash. In addition, the NF contains small amounts of flavonoids such as dihydromyricetin, myricetin and quercetin. The Panel notes limitations of the data provided from the batch testing regarding proximate analyses and plant secondary metabolites. Given these limitations, the Panel considers that the data provided by the applicant do not demonstrate that different batches produced with the described production process meet the proposed specifications. The target population is the general adult population excluding pregnant and lactating women and people with a chronic disease, such as liver malfunction. Limited information was provided on a history of consumption of Hovenia dulcis fruits and on an extract approved in South Korea. A number of toxicological studies were performed. However, the study reports did not allow to verify that the test item was representative of the NF. The same applied to a human study provided by the applicant. The Panel concludes that the safety of the NF has not been established. (c) 2020 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.