Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Introduction to Fermentation Process

What is Fermentation?
 
Fermentation is the process in which the chemical transformation of organic substances into simpler compounds carried out by the action of bio-catalysts (enzymes) produced by microorganisms like bacteria, molds or yeasts.
The enzymes act by hydrolysis, a process of predigesting or breaking down of composite organic molecules into smaller units or more easily digestible stuffs in case of foods
For example…
  1. The enzyme carbohydratases act on carbohydrates. For an instance, enzyme  amylase act on starch and  convert it them into simple sugars which can be utilized easily by the microorganisms
  1. The enzyme proteases act on various proteins. For an instance,  enzyme protease breaks down huge protein molecules initially into polypeptides and peptides and then into numerous amino acids, which can be readily and easily taken up by the microorganisms
  1. The enzyme lipases on various lipids. For an instance, the enzyme lipase hydrolyzes complex fat molecules into simpler free fatty acids and glycerol making them available to the organisms
The end products of any fermentation process depend on the process aimed. It can be any of the following end product.
  1. The cell itself.  i.e. Biomass production. (for e.g. Single cell proteins)
  2. Primary or secondary metabolites of microorganisms itself. This can be produce by naturally isolated organisms (wild type) or can also be produce by  genetically improved strain. See Table 1.
  3. The products foreign to the microorganisms. This can be produced by genetically engineered organisms by the help of recombinant DNA technology . See Table 2.

Definitions of  Fermentation

The term “fermentation” can describe in various ways. Following are some definitions  of fermentation which explain of fermentation  from origin to till date
  • “The bubbling observed when sugar and starchy materials underwent a transformation to yield alcoholic beverages”  (Original definition of fermentation)
  • “The process in which alcohol was formed from sugar, regardless of whether the causative agent was or was not biological” (Anonymous)
  • “Those anaerobic reactions through which microorganisms obtained energy for growth in the absence of oxygen” (Fermentation term defined by Louis Pasteur)
  • “It applies to both the aerobic and the anaerobic metabolic activities of microorganisms in which specific chemical changes are brought about in an organic substrate” (Anonymous)
  •  “Almost any process mediated by or involving microorganisms in which a product of economic value produced” (From an industrial microbiology point of view)

A Brief History of Fermentation 

  • The invention of the compound microscope in the late 1500s, a simple instrument  which revolutionized man's knowledge of invisible tiny microbial world can be considered as the origins of microbiology
  • A scientific discovery, which electrified the scientific world of the time, was done by the greatest of the early microscopists, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, in 1675. He saw and reported one-celled organisms, which he called "animacules" (Today they are called "protozoa.")
  • Lavoisier, in the late 1700s showed  the process of transforming sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide
  • In 1810 J.L. Guy-Lussac,  on the basis of detailed analyses, specified ethanol and CO2 as the principal products of the decomposition of sugar summarizing with the  well-known equation: C6H12O6 –> 2C2H5OH + 2CO2 (an ex post facto formulation)
  • The first concrete evidence of the living nature of yeast came out between 1837 and 1838. One of the important feature of the yeast that “yeast was a living organism that reproduced by budding” was explain by  Cagniard-Latour (1837) in France, and Schwann (1837) and Kutzing (1837) in Germany, independently
  • Louis Pasteur (1850s and 1860), proved conclusively in a series investigations that fermentation was initiate by living organisms
  • Louis Pasteur (1857) explained that living organisms are responsible for  lactic acid fermentation
  • Louis Pasteur (1860) demonstrated that bacteria cause souring in milk and later on the role of microorganisms in food spoilage show the way to the process of pasteurization
  • In 1877, Pasteur published his famous paper on fermentation, titled “Etudes sur la Biere”, English meaning “Studies on Fermentation”. He defined fermentation incorrectly as "Life without air," but correctly showed specific types of microorganisms carry out  specific types of fermentation processes and produce specific end products
  • The term "microbiology" was first used in English in 1885, long after Pasteur's major discoveries

References

  • Principles of Fermentation Technology

             (2nd  edition,  by Peter F. Stanbury, Allan Whitaker and Stephen J. Hall, Butterworth-Heinemann, An  imprint of Elsevier Science.)

  • Industrial Microbiology

          (By Casida L. E.New Age international (P) ltd publications)

  • A Text Book of Industrial Microbiology

               (2nd edition By Wulf Crueger & Anneliese Crueger)

  • Biotechnology: Food Fermentation Microbiology, Biochemistry & Technology Vol. 1 & 2

           (By V.K. Joshi & Ashok Pandey)

  • Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

(2nd Edition by Arnold L. Demain and Julian E. Davies, Ronald M. Atlas, Gerald Cohen, Charles L. Hershberger, Wei-Shou Hu, David H.   Sherman, Richard C. Willson and J. H. David Wu)

  • Industrial Microbiology-An introduction

(By Michael J. Waites, Neil L. Morgan, John S. Rockey and Gary Higton)

  • Comprehensive Biotechnology-The Principles, Applications and Rugulations of Biotechnology in Industry, Agriculture and Medicine

(By Mrray Moo Young)

  • Fermentation Technology : Up Stream Fermentation Technology- Vol-I

(By H. A. Modi-Pointer Publications)

  • Fermentation Technology : Down Stream Fermentation Technology- Vol-II

(By H. A. Modi-Pointer Publications)

  • Industrial Microbiology by Prescott and Dunn's

(4th edition, edited by Gerald Reed, CBR publications)

  • Fermentation Technology

 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

How To Calculate Muffler Size and Exhaust Pipe Diameter

If you’re a math wiz and/or an engineer, you’re probably going to like this article and the resources we’ve linked to. However, if you find yourself getting stuck (or bored) with the info below, here are the key take-aways:
1. The factory exhaust pipe diameter is usually a good choice for most vehicles.
2. The muffler manufacturers are doing all the math for us – no need to reinvent the wheel. If they say it will work for your vehicle, it will probably work for your vehicle.
3. We’ve got an easy-to-read exhaust system size table that is good for quick calculations.

Breaking Down The Problem

While we’re not going to go through and list out all the formulas and calculations you need to figure this exactly, we will break down the problem, explain how you would go about figuring things out scientifically, and then leave you with some good quick-and-dirty exhaust system math as well as some interesting links.
The science goes like this…
1) Mass of air that the engine breathes in + mass of fuel = mass of exhaust gases Conservation of mass, right?
2) To calculate the volume of air the engine takes in, we multiply the displacement of the engine by the engine RPM and then divide by two (it takes two full revolutions for the engine to exhaust it’s entire air volume). We then convert that to volume to mass.
3) To make the calculations easy, you want to assume that combustion is perfect, i.e. there aren’t any byproducts, any unburned fuel, etc. It’s easier to assume perfect combustion and then “back in” to the actual numbers using an estimate after the fact.
4) Since you’re assuming perfect combustion, it’s easy to figure out how much fuel mass is added to the exhaust.
5) Once you know the mass of the exhaust gas, you just figure out how much volume that mass would occupy. Of course, you have to adjust for expansion due to the high exhaust gas temperature.
That’s it! Of course, when you sit down to figure it, you’ll find that getting a good scientific estimate takes a lot of work (which is why we don’t bother with it here).

Quick and Dirty Exhaust System Math

Easy Way To Estimate: Your intake system needs to flow 1.5 CFM per engine horsepower, and your exhaust system needs to flow 2.2 CFM per engine horsepower.
Good Way To Estimate: Take engine RPM x engine displacement, then divide by two. This is the intake volume. Use this same volume of air for the exhaust system, but then correct for thermal expansion (you need to know exhaust temps to figure things out).
Exhaust Pipe Size Estimate: A good section of straight pipe will flow about 115 CFM per square inch of area. Here’s a quick table that shows how many CFM each common pipe size will flow, as well as the estimated max horsepower for each pipe size:
Pipe Diameter (inches)Pipe Area (in2)Total CFM (est.)Max HP Per PipeMax HP For A Dual Pipe System
1 1/21.4817178155
1 5/81.7720392185
1 3/42.07239108217
22.76318144289
2 1/43.55408185371
2 1/24.43509232463
2 3/45.41622283566
36.49747339679
3 1/47.67882401802
3 1/28.951029468935
NOTE: These numbers are just estimates. All pipes are assumed to be 16 gauge steel.
The table above is probably over-estimating pipe size, but you can see that a 400 hp vehicle with a dual exhaust system only needs 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 inch pipes. Anything larger is overkill.

Useful Links

Great forum discussion that really discusses the details of the scientific calculations: http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=104735
An interesting discussion of header pipe designs: http://victorylibrary.com/mopar/header-tech-c.htm
A good general article about designing the perfect exhaust system: http://www.popularhotrodding.com/enginemasters/articles/hardcore/0505em_exh/index.html

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Biodiesel byproduct rejuvenated into plastic feedstock

A sustainable method to synthesise platform chemical lactic acid from waste glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, has emerged from research in Switzerland.
A significant amount of glycerol (bottom layer) is leftover when making biodiesel (top layer) © Bo Cheng/ETH Zurich

Collaboration between the advanced catalysis engineering and the safety and environmental technology groups at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, headed by Javier Pérez-Ramírez and Konrad Hungerbuehler, respectively, gave way to the new cascade process. Glycerol is first oxidised to give dihydroxyacetone through an established enzymatic process. Dihydroxyacetone is then isomerised over a tin-containing zeolite catalyst, which was designed by ETH Zurich team, to give lactic acid.
The increasing demand for biodiesel means an oversupply of glycerol and, currently, any excess glycerol must be disposed of. Glycerol corresponds to around 10wt% of the fuel made. Predictions expect glycerol production from biodiesel to reach about 3.7 million tons in 2020, having seen around 2.5 million tons produced in 2014.

Lactic acid is commonly used to produce commodity chemicals like acrylic acid and pyruvic acid. However, polymerising lactic acid can give a biodegradable plastic called polylactic acid (PLA). PLA has a variety of applications as a packaging material and is anticipated to be a greener replacement for the common synthetic polymer PET.

The new process for synthesising lactic acid confronts the challenges of sustainability and costs faced by its traditional production method, sugar fermentation. Using waste material as a feedstock decreases the process’ energy requirements and carbon dioxide emissions, which in conjunction with the recyclability of the zeolite catalyst, contribute to the economic advantages offered by the new cascade route.

Another benefit is that the cascade process is faster than the fermentation method. ‘The advantage of an inorganic catalyst is that, if designed properly, it can work effectively and can process solutions which are more concentrated and/or of lower purity,’ explains Pérez-Ramírez.
Plastic cup made of polylactic acid in one of the ETH Zurich canteens © Bo Cheng/ETH Zurich
Plastic cup made of polylactic acid in one of the ETH Zurich canteens © Bo Cheng/ETH Zurich

Catalysis scientist, Esben Taarning from Haldor Topsoe in Denmark, comments on the advantageous results this research offers: ‘Selective conversion of bio-based feedstocks to chemicals is often complicated by the high cost associated with fermentation techniques. This work elegantly illustrates the potential there is in combining biological conversion with chemocatalytic conversion in order to lower the overall processing costs.’
Pérez-Ramírez considers the interdisciplinary nature of this research to be central to their progress: ‘When you put together expertise from different fields, like in our case catalyst design and process modelling, you can achieve synergies leading to faster advances and deeper understanding of complex problems.’

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

VACANCY FOR MANAGEMENT INTERN IN BIRAC

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council
(A Govt. of India Enterprise)
Set up by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India

Vacancy Ref. No: BIRAC/Vac/_MI_/2014
BIRAC is inviting applications from qualified and experienced persons for the following positions:

Position code
Position
No. of vacancies
SPED-MI/01
                               MANAGEMENT INTERN (SPED)
1

The posts are purely temporary and on contract basis initially for a period of one year.

Interested candidates should apply at vacancy.birac@nic.in the prescribed format. The candidates should mention the position code in the subject.
  1. Application Proforma (enclosed BIRAC-Doc-I)
  2. For details of job descriptions, qualifications and work experience please see BIRAC-Doc-II enclosed here.
  3. Information as required in MS Excel format
Last Date for Application is 29th Dec, 2014
Notwithstanding anything contained herein or elsewhere, the decisions taken by BIRAC shall be binding upon all concerned.

Exciting Career Opportunities at BIRAC

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council
(A Govt. of India Enterprise)
Set up by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India

Vacancy Ref. No: BIRAC/Vac/_03_/2014

Catalysing the growth of an Innovation Driven Biotech Enterprise…..
Would you like to be the Catalyst?
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a Schedule ‘B’ Public Sector Undertaking of Govt. of India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. The main mandate to promote and nurture innovation research and growth of the biotech sector. BIRAC’s focus is on empowering and enabling the biotech innovation ecosystem for affordable product development.
As a Government of India enterprise, BIRAC endeavours to bring professionalism, transparency and efficiency into its functioning while providing support to catalyse the transformation of the emerging Indian bio-economy. It has a very special and unique governance structure and a very carefully developed workforce strategy that includes an enabling work environment, a work culture that is caring, fosters excellence and hires the most talented and professional workforce.
BIRAC is inviting applications from qualified, experienced and ambitious professionals for the following positions:
Position Code Positions Position Code Positions
IG-01

Project Officer /Manager– Level 1/2 (Vacancy-2 Gen 1 OBC)

FIN-01 Manager / Senior Manager (Accounts) - Level 2/3 (Vacancy-1)

SS-01


Team Lead / Head IP & Technology Management - Level 3/4 (Vacancy-1)

HR-01 Manager Administration - Level 2 (Vacancy-1)


All positions are under a Contract of Services initially for 3 years and thereafter based on performance renewed for 4 years and then every 5 years. A very well designed Career Growth Plan has been developed which provides opportunities for career progression within bands and levels. The positions offer attractive emoluments on competitive basis.
For details job descriptions, qualifications and work experience please see BIRAC-doc1 enclosed here. For further details, please find enclosed BIRAC-doc2
Interested candidates should apply by at vacancy.birac@nic.in the prescribed format :
(i)   Proforma for application for BIRAC positions
(ii)  Information as required in MS Excel format
Employees of Central / State Govts and or other CPSEs should send their applications through proper channel to the following address:
Senior Manager (Admin. & HR)
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council
1st Floor ,MTNL Building
9 , CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi-110003
Last Date for Application is 9th January,  2015
Notwithstanding anything contained herein or elsewhere; the decisions taken by BIRAC shall be binding upon all concerned.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Prime Minister of Republic India (Narendra Modi) Visits BIRAC funded Banana Bio-fortification Project at QUT , Brisbane


A humanitarian research partnership between QUT and the Indian Government is enabling scientists to collaborate to develop Indian bananas that are high in iron and provitamin A.



QUT's Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities director, Distinguished Professor James Dale, said QUT scientists were developing the technique to generate Australian bananas rich in iron and would then transfer this technology to India so that Indian scientists could generate Indian bananas rich in iron.
"This is the first agricultural technology transfer project the Indian Government has been involved with and QUT is very appreciative of this opportunity to not only collaborate with Indian scientists but to also help build India's scientific capacity in this regard," Professor Dale said.
Professor Dale said the $AUD1.25 million project was funded by the Government of India's Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
Professor Dale met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of India Mr Narendra Modi at QUT's Science and Engineering Centre and briefed him on the project's progress while in the greenhouse. Mr Modi is in Brisbane for the G20 Leaders' Summit.
Professor Dale's team is working in partnership with the National Agr-Food Biotechnology Institute, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, National Research Centre for Bananas, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Indian Institute of Horticulture Research.
"This is very much a joint project with enormous humanitarian potential," Professor Dale said.
"Bananas are a staple crop across southern India in particular, and an ability for India to produce bananas that are high in iron will assist in preventing anaemia, a major cause of maternal death in childbirth.
"Women who eat a vegetarian diet that is low in iron and don't have access to supplements are at risk of massive bleeding during childbirth.
"Iron deficiency is a problem for all developing countries, and is associated with diets low in iron, not just vegetarianism."
He said the iron gene that was being manipulated was from rice and that research was progressing well, with iron-rich bananas currently in field trials in north Queensland.
Professor Dale said his team was currently developing provitamin A enriched bananas for Uganda and this technology would also be transferred to Indian bananas over time to enable bananas to be rich in both iron and provitamin A and therefore be a highly nutritious food source.

Housekeeping Services for Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) Office- Unskilled

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council
(A Govt. of India Enterprise)
Set up by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India


Tender No. : BIRAC/HR&A/007/2014/ENQ-006
Type of Bid :  2 Bid System (Technical Bid & Price Bid)
Bid Closing Time & Date : 1400 Hrs (IST) on 26/12/2014
Place of Submission                               :          
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
1st Floor ,MTNL Building ,9 , CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
 New Delhi-110003 Phone: + 91-11-24389600
 Fax: + 91-11-24389611
Bid Opening Time, Date & Place : (a) Technical bid
 1500 Hrs. (IST) on 26/12/2014 on the same address as above.
(b) Price bid
Opening time and date shall be intimated to technically qualified bidders.
Bid validity : 90 days from bid closing date.
Amount of Performance Bank Guarantee to be submitted only by the Successful Bidder. : 7.5% of the Contract value to be submitted within 21 days of 
submitting the letter of Award (LOA). Bidders should ensure
 that the Performance Bank Guarantee should be valid for 
a period extending to 30 days beyond the date stipulated for completion of the contract.
Signing of Contract : Contract is to be signed within 15 days of date of issue of LOA.
Duration of the Contract : 2 Years with a provision of extension for another 1 Year on mutually agreed terms and conditions.

     Click below to download prescribed formats :
Pre-Qualfication Criteria (Click here to download)
FORWARDING LETTER FOR
INVITATION TO BID
(Click here to download)
Annexure I Instructions to the Bidders  (Click here to download)
Annexure II Check List (Click here to download)
Annexure III Compliance Statement (Click here to download)
Annexure IV General Terms & Conditions of Contract (Click here to download)
Annexure V Scope of Work &Special Terms & Conditions (Click here to download)
Annexure VI Price Bid (Click here to download)
Annexure VII Technical Bid Format (Click here to download)
Annexure VIII Bid Evaluation Criteria (BEC) (Click here to download)
Annexure IX Guarantee for Bid Bond (Click here to download)
Annexure-X Service & Confidential Agreement (Click here to download)

BIRAC Roadshows & IP Workshop for promotion of Bio-Science Industries in Uttar Pradesh

BIRAC Roadshows & IP Workshop for promotion of Bio-Science Industries in Uttar Pradesh

Friday, 12 December 2014

Foods That Naturally Unclog Arteries



If your goal is to restore or maintain a healthy heart, there are a variety of foods that can help to unclog arteries of plaque build-up, lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation – the main culprits of cardiovascular illness.

Many of the foods on this list contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and soluble fiber which are great not only for your heart, but also to promote healthy skin, hair, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.  You can feel better, have more energy, and improve your heart health without the use of toxic chemicals.

1. Asparagus

One of the best vegetables for clearing arteries, asparagus is full of fiber and minerals, as well as a long list of vitamins including K, B1, B2, C, and E.  Asparagus can help to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots that can cause serious cardiovascular illness.  Try steaming raw asparagus for maximum vitamin potential!

2. Avocado

The next time you make a sandwich or salad, consider adding a few slices of avocado in lieu of mayonnaise or heavy salad dressing.  Studies have shown that the daily consumption of avocado result in improved blood cholesterol with a decrease in triglycerides and LDL of around 22% and an 11% increase in HDL – the “good” cholesterol that helps to keep arteries clear of obstructions.  Not only can this delicious fruit help to keep your blood flowing smoothly, the average avocado also contains around 4 grams protein and 11 grams of fiber, not to mention an impressive list of vitamins and antioxidants.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable that is loaded with vitamin K which helps to prevent calcification or hardening of arteries.  Eating vitamin- and antioxidant-packed broccoli can also help to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart conditions.  This super healthy veggie also offers a heart-healthy dose of fiber which helps to normalize blood-pressure and reduce stress that may cause tears (and eventually plaque build-up) in arterial walls.

4. Chia Seeds

When included daily as part of a heart-healthy diet, the fiber and alpha-linolenic acid contained in just two ounces of Chia seeds can help to keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol.  Also, because daily cardiovascular exercise is another excellent way to improve heart health and keep arteries clear, Chia seeds are doubly effective.  The boost of protein and nutrients offered by this tiny superfood can help to make any workout feel just a little bit easier.

5. Cinnamon

You’ve probably heard that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  But did you know that a spoonful of cinnamon makes your risk of heart disease go down?  Just one tablespoon of ground cinnamon per day can work to reduce cholesterol levels while at the same time clearing and preventing plaque build-up.  Cinnamon is also full of antioxidants which further improve cardiovascular health by protecting blood from damaging oxidation.  So put down the sugar and start enjoying cinnamon.  Try this fragrant spice in a cup of tea or sprinkled on top of coffee.  Or check out these recipes on EatingWell with cinnamon.

6. Coconut Oil

Disregard the old myth that all saturated fats are bad and the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Regular consumption of coconut oil – about 2 or 3 tablespoons per day – can help to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries by aiding the conversion of cholesterol in the blood stream into a form that our bodies can use.  The high concentration of medium-chain triglyceride, lauric acid present in coconut oil is also thought to improve blood coagulation as well as to perform antioxidant functions in the blood stream, further diminishing the risk of heart disease.


7. Coffee

Also contrary to popular belief, coffee is not bad for your health.  Studies have found that drinking between 8 and 16 oz of coffee per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by around 20%.  Just remember to take all things in moderation, including caffeine.  Over-consumption of any stimulant has the potential to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to some serious health problems.
Check out the internet’s most delicious and healthy coffee recipe, compliments of Wellness Mama!

8. Cranberries

Cranberries are another antioxidant-rich food which can help to improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL and raising HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, cranberry juice has more antioxidant power than all but one other fruit juice (100% red or black grape being the exception.)  Enjoy two servings of 100% pure organic cranberry juice daily to protect your heart and improve your health.

9. Cold-water “Fatty” Fish

Also rich in healthy fats, cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna can help to clear arteries.  Try to eat fish twice per week to reduce plaque build-up and inflammation that can lead to heart disease.  Also, eating cold-water fish can help to improve your overall cholesterol – lowering triglyceride levels and increasing HDL cholesterol in the blood-stream.

10. Flaxseeds

One of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseeds are known for their ability to reduce blood-pressure and inflammation, helping to keep arteries clear of obstructions and improve overall heart health.  Enjoy a serving of 100% organic golden flaxseed added to a delicious smoothie or in one of these heart-healthy recipes by EatingWell!

11. Green Tea

Green tea – especially nutrient-rich Matcha green tea – contains high levels of catechins, antioxidant plant phenols which hinder the absorption of cholesterol during digestion.  Enjoy a cup or two of green tea every day to improve your blood-lipid levels and help reduce arterial blockage.  Green tea also provides a natural boost to the metabolism which can help you to lose weight, further bolstering your cardiovascular health.

12. Nuts

A heart healthy snack alternative to prepackaged and processed foods, raw nuts are a delicious way to clear arteries with many auxiliary benefits, to boot!  Almonds are by far the best option, being very high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and protein.  Walnuts are another great choice.  As an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – the same EFA that gives flaxseeds their favorable reputation – eating a serving of walnuts every day can help to improve blood-pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep arteries clear of obstructions.

13. Olive Oil

Rich in monounsaturated oleic acid – an essential fatty acid (EFA) known for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream – olive oil is widely considered to be one of the healthiest oils for cooking and dressing food.  According to a recent study, use of olive oil for these purposes can actually reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular illnesses by up to 41%.
A word of caution: When shopping for olive oil, avoid buying the lowest-priced option on the shelf.  These products are inexpensive for a good reason.  Low-cost olive oils are often cut with cheaper, less-healthy oils or have been damaged by heat during the extraction process.  Instead, go with a certified 100% organic virgin olive oil.

14. Orange Juice

Drinking just two cups of 100% orange juice (no sugar added) every day can help to improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of arteries.  Also, orange juice is full of antioxidant vitamin C which helps to keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in the blood stream.  For more information about how orange juice improves circulatory function, read this article by the Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

15. Persimmon

Persimmons are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which work to decrease LDL and triglycerides in the blood-stream.  Persimmons are also a great source of fiber which helps to regulate blood pressure, keep your heart healthy, and your arteries clear.

16. Pomegranate

Antioxidant phytochemicals naturally present in pomegranates do an excellent job of protecting the circulatory system from damaging oxidation which can cause plaque build-up and dangerous blood clots.  Pomegranate also naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood which helps to open arteries and regulate blood pressure.  Try eating fresh pomegranate or enjoy some organic pomegranate juice!

17. Spinach

One of the famed dark leafy greens, spinach is loaded with fiber, potassium, and folate – all of which help to lower blood pressure and keep arteries clear.  According to recent studies, just one serving per day of folate-rich greens like spinach can lower homocysteine levels – a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.  Why not mix it up a little?  Enjoy your spinach sautéed, in a salad, or as part of a heart-smart smoothie!

18. Spirulina

Spirulina is a cytobacteria (or blue-green algae as they are often called) which not only helps to regulate lipid levels in the blood, it is also a complete protein.  Unlike other plant sources of protein, Spirulina contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body to maintain optimum health.  Spirulina is also packed with EFAs, including alpha-linolenic acid – the essential omega-3 fatty acid found in chia and flaxseeds that has been researched extensively for its ability to reduce arterial inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.  Take Spirulina daily as a supplement or try it in powder form in some of these delicious recipes.

19. Turmeric

21 Foods That Naturally Unclog ArteriesCurcumin, the main component of Turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Adding turmeric to your diet can seriously reduce inflammation and damage to arterial walls which are leading causes of plaque build-up and blood clots.  Furthermore, studies have shown us that the high levels of curcumin in Turmeric can aid in the reduction of fatty deposits in the arteries by up to 26%.  Try some of these excellent recipes using all-natural organic turmeric.

20. Watermelon

Not only is it delicious, watermelon is another fruit that is great for your heart.  As an excellent natural source of the amino acid L-citrulline, watermelon can help to keep arteries clear by lowering blood pressure and decreasing inflammation.  In much the same way as pomegranate, watermelon naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide, which further improves artery health and blood pressure.  Try some of these Best Watermelon Recipes by Southern Living!

21. Whole Grains

Trade out your bleached carbohydrates for their whole grain alternatives to give your heart health a boost.  Foods like whole grain breads, whole wheat pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal have long been celebrated for their role in improving blood-cholesterol levels, keeping arteries clear, and reducing the risk of serious heart disease.
Need a little help finding foods that fit the bill?  Check out this great guide to whole grain groceries.