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- PublicationCoastal blue space and depression in older adultsThis paper tests whether higher exposure to coastal blue space is associated with lower risk of depression using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), a nationally representative longitudinal study of people aged fifty and over in Ireland. We contribute to the literature on blue space and health by (i) using scores from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to measure depression outcomes (ii) using new measures of coastal blue space visibility (iii) studying the association in an older population (iv) using data from Ireland. Our results indicate that exposure to coastal blue space is associated with beneficial mental health outcomes: TILDA respondents with the highest share of sea view visibility have lower depression (CES-D) scores, while distance from coastline is not statistically significant when views and proximity are both included in the model. This finding supports the idea that the primary channel through which coastal blue space operates to reduce depression scores is visual rather than related to physical proximity.
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- PublicationThe Application of Freeze-Chill Technology to Ready-To-Eat Meal ComponentsFreeze-chilling involves freezing and frozen storage followed by thawing and chilled storage. A number of ready-to-eat meal components have been studied for their suitability for freeze chilling including, potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, salmon and white sauces. In general, sensory analysis showed that freeze-chilled products were similar in quality to their chilled or frozen counterparts. There were some differences between the freeze-chilled and chilled products in instrumental texture assessment and centrifugal drip loss due to cell damage arising from the freezing step. A freezing rate study was carried out to determine if more rapid freezing could improve texture and drip. Mashed potato was frozen at -30, -60 or -90°C to an internal temperature of -25°C, stored at -25°C for 4 days and then stored at chill temperature (4°C) for a further 4 days. No difference was found in sensory acceptability between any of the treatments. Drip loss was tower (P<0.001) in the chilled mashed potato and decreased with decreasing freezing temperature in the freeze-chilled mashed potato. Freeze-chilling led to a finer texture (P<0.001) than chilling alone but the texture softened (P<0.01) with decreasing freezing temperature. Freeze-chilled foods are potentially more at risk to temperature abuse than chilled products due to the increased amounts of drip water arising from the freezing/thawing steps. A trial was carried out on the effects of different storage temperatures on the quality and safety of freeze-chilled mashed potato. No difference in microbial levels was detected between chill and freeze-chill at any storage temperature but storage time and temperature had effects on total viable counts in both chilled and freeze-chilled products.