1. Tabagari, I.; Kurashvili, M.; Varazi, T.; Adamia, G.; Gigolashvili, G.; Pruidze, M.; Chokheli, L.; Khatisashvili, G.; von Fragstein und Niemsdorff, P. Application of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis against Chemical Pollution of Water. Water 2019, 11, 1759.


    The basis of phytoremediation technology for cleaning chemically polluted water was developed in the framework of the presented work. This technology is based on the ability of blue-green alga Arthrospira platensis to eliminate different environmental toxicants from water. This technological approach was conducted for the following pollutants: 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), and cesium ions. The effectiveness of the technology was tested in model experiments, which were carried out in glass containers (volume 40 L). In particular, the different concentrations of alga biomass with the aforementioned pollutants were incubated with permanent illumination conditions and air barbotage, at a temperature of 25 °C. The results of the model experiments showed that after two weeks from the start of remediation Arthrospiraeffectively cleaned artificially polluted waters. Particularly in the case of TNT 56 mg/L concentration, the effect of water remediation was 97%. In the case of DDT 10 mg/L concentration, the degree of cleaning was 90%. Similar results were obtained in the case of 100 mg/L concentration of cesium ions. Thus, the model experiments confirmed that the alga Arthrospira effectively removed tested pollutants from water. That is the basis of phytoremediation technology.


    phytoremediation; water pollution; DDT; TNT; heavy metals; cesium ions

  2. Ushanov, L.; Lasareishvili, B.; Janashia, I.; Zautner, A.E. Application of Campylobacter jejuni Phages: Challenges and Perspectives. Animals 2020, 10, 279.
    Bacteriophages (phages) are the most abundant and diverse biological entities in the biosphere. Due to the rise of multi-drug resistant bacterial strains during the past decade, phages are currently experiencing a renewed interest. Bacteriophages and their derivatives are being actively researched for their potential in the medical and biotechnology fields. Phage applications targeting pathogenic food-borne bacteria are currently being utilized for decontamination and therapy of live farm animals and as a biocontrol measure at the post-harvest level. For this indication, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several phage products targeting Listeria sp., Salmonella sp. and Escherichia coli. Phage-based applications against Campylobacter jejuni could potentially be used in ways similar to those against Salmonella sp. and Listeria sp.; however, only very few Campylobacter phage products have been approved anywhere to date. The research on Campylobacter phages conducted thus far indicates that highly diverse subpopulations of C. jejuni as well as phage isolation and enrichment procedures influence the specificity and efficacy of Campylobacter phages. This review paper emphasizes conclusions from previous findings instrumental in facilitating isolation of Campylobacter phages and improving specificity and efficacy of the isolates. View Full-Text

  3. Al Sidawi, R.; Urushadze, T.; Ploeger, A. Changes in Dairy Products Value Chain in Georgia. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5894.
    The livestock sector, as a part of the traditional food system in Georgia, occupies a considerable portion of the national economy. Though smallholder farmers are the key suppliers at the primary stage in the food value chain, the empowerment of smallholder farmers in the dairy production system in Georgia is a questionable matter. This research study reports the results of changes in the dairy sector in Georgia (Caucasus) after becoming independent from the Soviet Union (literature survey) and how these changes are seen by experts in the dairy value chain. In addition, this study aimed to look in-depth at the dynamics of the value chain of dairy in Georgia and examine the current dairy production policies. Qualitative research was applied as the methodology for expert interviews in 2019. The findings showed the difficulties experienced by the local and national dairy market sectors in Georgia nowadays. Where these difficulties were analyzed by the parameters of the value chain, it states the impact of the current regulations and policies on the safety and the quality of dairy production in the country and the depth of social, economic, and ethical impacts on the marketing of dairy products for smallholders. Furthermore, the Sustainable Development Goals on the dairy value chain are described. View Full-Text
  4. Tabagari, I., Chokheli, L., Adamia, G. et al. The Effectiveness of Arthrospira platensis for the Purification of Copper-Contaminated Water. Water Air Soil Pollut 231, 470 (2020).


    The presented work is devoted to the study of the ecological potential of Spirulina Arthrospira platensis to absorb copper ions from the water polluted by given heavy metal. The obtained data reveal the ability of Spirulina in a short time, in particular for 3 days to diminish 70% of Cu2+ ions of the initial incubation medium (100 ppm). The physiological parameters of Spirulina under the influence of copper on algae were also studied the highest concentration of Cu2+ ions cause inhibition of biomass accumulation by 15% and decrease of chlorophyll content by 30%. The presented results underline the capacity of Arthrospira platensis for the purification of water contaminations by copper.

  5. Khakhviashvili K, Ploeger A, Didebulidze K, Oshkhereli T (2020) Is Antibiotic Resistance a Problem for the Dairy Industry in Georgia? J Dairy Res Tech 3: 018.


    Antibiotics Resistance (AMR) is a global threat to human health, agriculture, and global ecosystems. The Multisectoral and global answer is required to reduce the risk of antibiotics resistance spreading all around the globe. Nevertheless, Antibiotics resistance issues are not addressed and investigated in Georgia. There is a significant knowledge gap concerning the spreading of antibiotic resistance in the Georgian agriculture and dairy sector, which generates a big part of animal origin food in Georgia. The article’s objective is to review available information about the Georgian dairy sector and raise a question about whether current practices increase the risk of antimicrobial resistance spreading. Review highlights Georgian dairy sectored constraints such as usage of outdated practices and methods in cattle feeding, breeding, milking, and welfare. No control over veterinary medicine sales and usage. Food safety risks are connected to a lack of control of small household farmers. Researches done in the human health sector indicated antibiotic development resistance in Staphylococcus aureus, which is one of the familiar sources of bovine mastitis. Antibiotics resistance in dairy farming is not yet researched. However, National Food Agency monitoring results on the presence of prohibited antibiotics residual in cattle milk and blood indicates that there are increased risks of antibiotics resistance bacteria development in dairy farming and spreading in the environment through the food chain.

    Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Dairy; Dairy sector; Georgia, Staphylococcus aureus

  6. Al Sidawi, R.; Urushadze, T.; Ploeger, A. Factors and Components Affecting Dairy Smallholder Farmers and the Local Value Chain— Kvemo Kartli as an Example.Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5749; DOI: 10.3390/su13105749


Smallholder farmers are the cornerstone of the livestock sector and an essential element in building and developing the local dairy value chain, critical for developing its local economy. In Georgia, and despite the efforts made since independence from the Soviet Union until now, farmers still face many problems that prevent them from participating effectively in developing the dairy value chain, especially heavy metal pollution that afflicts the study region. This research study refers to smallholder farmers’ viewpoints in the Kvemo Kartli region on the dairy production sector and the problems these farmers face. This study also investigates the effect of several factors (ethical factors, traditions, animal welfare, cultural factors, etc.) on the dairy value chain. The convergence model was used in the mixed-method approach’s triangular design as a methodology for this research study. As part of the social data, 140 farmers who produce and sell milk and cheese in the Kvemo Kartli region were interviewed. The results showed the influence of the ethical, cultural, and traditional factors in developing the value chain. The results also showed the problems and difficulties small farmers face in rural areas, on the one hand, and the gap between these farmers and governmental and private organisations on the other hand. These results are compared to those of a previous study, where interviews with experts in Georgia’s dairy production sector were performed. View Full-Text

Keywords: dairy products; value chain; smallholder farmers; food safety; heavy metals; Georgia

7. Khatchapuridze Z, Gugulashvili G., Ghvachliani V., Ploeger A., Gulua L.,Turmanidze T. In-vitro functional efficacy of extracts from Caucasian Rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum) and Rkatsiteli wines as pancreatic lipase inhibitors. Ukrainian Food Journal, 2021 Vol. 10:1   DOI: 10.24263/2304-974X-2021-10-1


Introduction. The aim of the research is to determine the inhibitory activities of Caucasian Rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum)and Rkatsiteli wines against pancreatic lipase.Materials and methods. The leaves of Caucasian Rhododendron were collected in the Upper Svaneti region. Wines were made of Rkatsiteli grape variety. Titrimetric method was used to determine lipase activity, total phenolic content (TPC), and Ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) were determined spectrophotometrically. Results and discussion.We could demonstrate in this research project a high correlation between TPC and antioxidant activity (AOA) in all samples. Pearson’s correlation coefficient (R2) for the Caucasian Rhododendron samples and wine samples were 0.9758 and 0.9556, respectively. The average TPC in Caucasian Rhododendron was found to vary from 13.00±0.48 to 19.48±0.84 % Gallic acid equivalent (GAE) based on dry matter content. The 3-rd sample of Caucasian Rhododendron revealed the highest TPC, 19.48±0.84 % GAE, and possessed an AOA of 16.10±0.32. No significant difference was observed between the third and first sample of 17.97±0.42% GAE and 15.35±0.74 AOA (p<0.05). Even though the fourth sample showed the lowest TPC and AOA, its lipase inhibitory activity closely resembled Orlistat. t seems that polyphenol, which is most responsible for anti-lipase activity of Caucasian Rhododendron is easily oxidised in the air. Сonsequently, similar technology to green tea processing allows retaining most of the polyphenol in the vine sample.In the rest of the samples, this substance underwent oxidation by molecular oxygen. These results indicated that the treatment of Rhododendron samples could influence the composition of bioactive compounds. The results obtained herein allow one to conclude that white wines made with Kakhetian technology are rich with bioactive compounds and possess higher antioxidant activity and Lipase inhibitory activity when compared to wines made with European technology. Conclusion. Extracts from Caucasian Rhododendron can act as a promising natural inhibitor and reduce dietary cholesterol’ absorption. Based on a dry matter content, Caucasian Rhododendron offered better inhibitory activity than white wine samples.

Keywords: Wine, Caucasian, Rhododendron, Rkatsiteli, Orlistat, Antioxidant, Pancreatic lipase




8. Al Sidawi, R.; Ghambashidze, G.; Urushadze, T.; Ploeger, AHeavy Metal Levels in Milk and Cheese Produced in the Kvemo Kartli Region, Georgia  Foods, 2021, 10(9), DOI: 10.3390/su13105749


Milk and dairy products are among the most important food sectors in Georgia, and milk is considered one of the most essential foods in the human diet according to Georgian food culture. Kvemo Kartli is one of the major regions in Georgia for milk production. This region suffers from heavy metal contamination in soil and water because of the mining industry. This study was conducted to determine the concentrations of cadmium, lead, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, selenium and molybdenum in milk and cheese and to evaluate whether the concentrations of these elements correspond to the permissible levels of toxic elements in milk and cheese for Georgia and the EU. In total, 195 milk samples and 25 cheese samples (16 from Imeruli cheese and nine from Sulguni cheese) were collected from nine different villages in the Kvemo Kartli region in Georgia: Chapala, Vanati, Bolnisi, Mtskneti, Sabereti, Ratevani, Khidiskuri, Kazreti, Kvemo Bolnisi. The determination of heavy metal in all samples was carried out by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The research results show that the concentration of these elements in most milk samples is fairly constant for all villages and is less than the permissible levels, except for seven samples from the following villages: Kvemo Bolnisi, Bolnisi, Mitskineti and Ratawani, where the concentration of lead in the milk samples was higher than the permissible limits mentioned in the literature, ranging from 0.027 to 1003 mg L−1. As for copper, its concentration in milk in Sabereti and Vanati villages was above the permissible limits according to the EU limit, ranging from 0.42 to 1.28 mg L−1. For cheese samples, the concentration of cadmium, lead, copper, Co and Ni in the two types of cheese was less than the permissible limit according to the laws of Georgia. Finally, the heavy metal concentrations in Imeruli and Sulguni cheese for manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), selenium (Se), molybdenum (Mo) zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) were above the permissible limit. Thus, the study results showed that the consumption of milk does not pose a direct and serious threat to the health of consumers. As for the two types of cheese, future studies and continuous monitoring are necessary to assess the cheese content of trace elements and the risk of its consumption to the consumer.