|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 685|
Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosure by public Spanish universities on their websites. To this end, a content analysis was used to analyze the websites of 50 public Spanish universities i 2016. The results of this study show that human capital was the most disclosed category with relational capital being the least frequently disclosed in Spain. However, the quality of structural capital disclosures was higher than relational and human capital. Finally, most IC disclosures were narrative in nature.
Organizations support their operations and decision making on the data they have at their disposal, so the quality of these data is remarkably important and Data Quality (DQ) is currently a relevant issue, the literature being unanimous in pointing out that poor DQ can result in large costs for organizations. The literature review identified and described 24 Critical Success Factors (CSF) for Data Quality Management (DQM) that were presented to a panel of experts, who ordered them according to their degree of importance, using the Delphi method with the Q-sort technique, based on an online questionnaire. The study shows that the five most important CSF for DQM are: definition of appropriate policies and standards, control of inputs, definition of a strategic plan for DQ, organizational culture focused on quality of the data and obtaining top management commitment and support.
The accreditation process of engineering degree programmes is based on various reports evaluated by the relevant governing bodies of the institution of higher education. One of the aforementioned reports for the accreditation process is a self-assessment report which is to be completed by the applying institution. This paper seeks to emphasise the importance of analysis of internal quality management systems and self-examination processes in the engineering accreditation processes. A description of how the programme fulfils the criteria should be given. Relevant stakeholders all need to contribute in the writing and structuring of the self-assessment report. The last step is to gather evidence in the form of supporting documentation. In conclusion, the paper also identifies learning outcomes in a case study in seeking accreditation from an international relevant professional body.
Both Betong chicken (KU Line) and Thai Native chickens were the high quality of the meat and low carcass fat compared to broiler chickens. The objective of this study was to determine the growth performance, carcass characteristic, meat quality and association of polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene with fat accumulation in the female broiler, Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens at 4-14 weeks. The chickens were used and reared under the same environment and management (100 chicks per breed). The results showed that body weight (BW) of broiler chickens was significantly higher than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01) through all the experiment. At 4-8 weeks of age, feed conversion ratio (FCR) of broiler chickens was significantly better than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01), then increased at week 8-14. The percentage of breast, abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat of broiler chickens was significantly greater than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01). However, Thai Native chickens showed the highest percentage of liver (P < 0.01) when compared to other breeds. In addition, the percentage of wing of Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens were significantly (P < 0.01) higher than broiler chickens. Meat quality was also determined and found that, pH of breast meat left from slaughter 45 minutes (pH45) and 24 hours (pH24) of broiler was significantly higher than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) (P < 0.01) whereas the percentage of drip loss, thawing loss, cooking loss and shear force was not significantly different between breeds. The polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique was used to genotype the polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene in the broiler, Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens. The results found that, the polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene at VLDL6 loci was not associated with fat accumulation in those studied population.
Economic growth and social evolution are connected to trust relationships in a society. The quality of the accounting information, the tax information system and the tax audit mechanism evolve multiple benefits in an economy. Tax evasion, the illegal practice where people and companies do not pay taxes, is a crime because of the negative effect in economy and society. In this paper, we describe a theoretical framework on the characteristics of a fair and efficient tax auditing information system which could be a tool against tax evasion, a tool for an economy to grow, especially in countries that face fluctuations in economic activity. We conclude that a fair and efficient tax auditing information system increases the reliability of tax administration, improves taxpayers’ tax compliance and causes a developmental trajectory for the economy.
Audit is an independent inspection of the financial statement of the audited person and expresses the opinion of an auditor on the reliability of this statement. The auditor’s activity (auditor’s service) is realized by auditing organizations, individual auditors in connection to conduction of an audit and rendering of audit accompanying services. The profession of auditor means a high level of responsibility for rendered service. Results of decisions made by information users depend on the quality of the auditor’s conclusion. Owners, investors, creditors, and society rely on the opinion of the auditor under the condition that inspection was conducted with good quality. Therefore, the existence of the well-functioning audit quality control system for the administering of the audit is an important issue. An efficient audit quality control system is a substantial challenge that many countries face worldwide, especially those states where these systems are being formed within the respective reform program. The presented article reflects on the best practices of the leading countries, the assumptions and recommendations for the financial accounting, reporting and audit; current reforms in Georgia are made based on this comparative analysis.
Goat dairy products are gaining popularity worldwide. In developing countries, but also in many marginal regions of the Mediterranean area, goats represent a great part of the economy and ensure food security. In fact, these small ruminants are able to convert efficiently poor weedy plants and small trees into traditional products of high nutritional quality, showing great resilience to different climatic and environmental conditions. In developed countries, goat milk is appreciated for the presence of health-promoting compounds, bioactive compounds such as conjugated linoleic acids, oligosaccharides, sphingolipids and polyammines. This paper focuses on the recent advances in literature on the nutritional properties of goat milk and on innovative techniques to improve its quality as to become a promising functional food. The environmental sustainability of different methodologies of production has also been examined. Goat milk is valued today as a food of high nutritional value and functional properties as well as small environmental footprint. It is widely consumed in many countries due to high nutritional value, lower allergenic potential, and better digestibility when compared to bovine milk, that makes this product suitable for infants, elderly or sensitive patients. The main differences in chemical composition between a cow and goat milk rely on fat globules that in goat milk are smaller and in fatty acids that present a smaller chain length, while protein, fat, and lactose concentration are comparable. Milk nutritional properties have demonstrated to be strongly influenced by animal diet, genotype, and welfare, but also by season and production systems. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in the dairy industry in goat milk for its relatively high concentration of prebiotics and a good amount of probiotics, which have recently gained importance for their therapeutic potential. Therefore, goat milk is studied as a promising matrix to develop innovative functional foods. In addition to the economic and nutritional value, goat milk is considered a sustainable product for its small environmental footprint, as they require relatively little water and land, and less medical treatments, compared to cow, these characteristics make its production naturally vocated to organic farming. Organic goat milk production has becoming more and more interesting both for farmers and consumers as it can answer to several concerns like environment protection, animal welfare and economical sustainment of rural populations living in marginal lands. These evidences make goat milk an ancient food with novel properties and advantages to be valorized and exploited.
The grain quality is a decisive factor in its use. In Poland, spring wheat is characterized by more favorable quality parameters in relation to the winter form of this species. In the present study, the effects of three different sowing dates (autumn, delayed autumn, and spring) and cultivar (Tybalt, Cytra, Bombona, Monsun, and Parabola) on the selected technological value parameters of spring wheat over three years were studied. The field trials were carried out in two locations (Bezek, Czesławice) in the Lubelskie Vivodeship, Poland. It was found that the falling number of spring wheat grains from autumn sowing dates was at a similar level to wheat sown in spring. The amount of wet gluten in the grain was variable in years, and its quality was better in wheat sown in spring. Sedimentation index was dependent upon on the cultivar.
In 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, a field experiment was conducted in two locations: Osiny and Wielichowo (Poland). The two-factor experiment was based on the method of randomized subblocks, in three replications. The first factor (A) was dose of nitrogen fertilization (two levels). The second factor (B) was nine winter wheat cultivars. It was found that winter wheat cultivars exhibited different reactions to higher nitrogen fertilization depending on the years and localities. Only KWS Dacanto cultivar under all growing conditions showed a significant increase in grain yield after the application of a higher level of nitrogen fertilization. The increase in nitrogen fertilization influenced the increase in gluten proteins content in wheat grain, but these changes were statistically significant only in the first year of the study. The quality of gluten does not depend on nitrogen fertilization. The quality of wheat grain depends on cultivars.
Holistic management of schizophrenia involves mainstream pharmacological intervention, complimentary medicine intervention, therapeutic intervention and other psychosocial factors such as accommodation, education, job training, employment, relationship, friendship, exercise, overall well-being, smoking, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stigmatisation, recreation, entertainment, violent behaviour, arrangement of public trusteeship and guardianship, day-day-living skill, integration with community, and management of overweight due to medications and other health complications related to medications amongst others. Our review shows that there is no integrated survey by combining all these factors. An international web-based survey was conducted to evaluate the significance of all these factors and present them in a unified manner. It is believed this investigation will contribute positively towards holistic management of schizophrenia. There will be two surveys. In the pharmacological intervention survey, five popular drugs for schizophrenia will be chosen and their efficacy as well as harmful side effects will be evaluated on a scale of 0 -10. This survey will be done by psychiatrists. In the second survey, each element of therapeutic intervention and psychosocial factors will be evaluated according to their significance on a scale of 0 - 10. This survey will be done by care givers, psychologists, case managers and case workers. For the first survey, professional bodies of psychiatrists in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. For the second survey, professional bodies of clinical psychologist and care givers in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. Additionally, for both the surveys, relevant professionals will be contacted through personal contact networks. For both the surveys, mean, mode, median, standard deviation and net promoter score will be calculated for each factor and then presented in a statistically significant manner. Subsequently each factor will be ranked according to their statistical significance. Additionally, country specific variation will be highlighted to identify the variation pattern. The results of these surveys will identify the relative significance of each type of pharmacological intervention, each type of therapeutic intervention and each type of psychosocial factor. The determination of this relative importance will definitely contribute to the improvement in quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.
Increased energy consumption in the academic buildings, creates the need to implement energy saving measures and to take advantage of the renewable energy sources to cover the electrical needs of those buildings. An Academic Library will be used as a case study. With the aid of RETScreen software that takes into account the energy consumptions and characteristics of the Library Building, it is proved that measures such as the replacement of fluorescent lights with led lights, the installation of outdoor shading, the replacement of the openings and Building Management System installation, provide a high level of energy savings. Moreover, given the available space of the building and the climatic data, the installation of a photovoltaic system of 100 kW can also cover a serious amount of the building energy consumption, unlike a wind system that seems uncompromising. Lastly, HOMER software is used to compare the use of a photovoltaic system against a wind system in order to verify the results that came up from the RETScreen software concerning the renewable energy sources.
With the continuous increment of smart meter installations across the globe, the need for processing of the load data is evident. Clustering-based load profiling is built upon the utilization of unsupervised machine learning tools for the purpose of formulating the typical load curves or load profiles. The most commonly used algorithm in the load profiling literature is the K-means. While the algorithm has been successfully tested in a variety of applications, its drawback is the strong dependence in the initialization phase. This paper proposes a novel modified form of the K-means that addresses the aforementioned problem. Simulation results indicate the superiority of the proposed algorithm compared to the K-means.
Chronic illnesses affect many Algerians. It is possible to investigate the impact of illness representations and coping on quality of life and whether illness representations are indirectly associated with quality of life through their influence on coping. This study aims at investigating the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life with chronic illness. Illness perceptions are indirectly associated with the quality of life through their influence on coping mediation. A sample of 316 participants with chronic illness living in the region of Batna, Algeria, has been adopted in this study. A correlation statistical analysis is used to determine the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies, and quality of life. Multiple regression analysis was employed to highlight the predictive ability of the dimensions of illness perception and coping strategies on the dependent variables of quality of life, where mediation analysis is considered in the exploration of the indirect effect significance of the mediator. This study provides insights about the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life in the considered sample (r = 0.39, p < 0.01). Therefore, it proves that there is an effect of illness identity perception, external and medical attributions related to emotional role, physical functioning, and mental health perceived, and these were fully mediated by the asking for assistance (c’= 0.04, p < 0.05), the guarding (c’= 0.00, p < 0.05), and the task persistence strategy (c’= 0.05, p < 0.05). The findings imply partial support for the common-sense model of illness representations in a chronic illness population. Directions for future research are highlighted, as well as implications for psychotherapeutic interventions which target unhelpful beliefs and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy).
The Greek Energy Market is structured as a mandatory pool where the producers make their bid offers in day-ahead basis. The System Operator solves an optimization routine aiming at the minimization of the cost of produced electricity. The solution of the optimization problem leads to the calculation of the System Marginal Price (SMP). Accurate forecasts of the SMP can lead to increased profits and more efficient portfolio management from the producer`s perspective. Aim of this study is to provide a comparative analysis of various machine learning models such as artificial neural networks and neuro-fuzzy models for the prediction of the SMP of the Greek market. Machine learning algorithms are favored in predictions problems since they can capture and simulate the volatilities of complex time series.
Air travel, and the use of airports, has experienced proliferative growth in the past few decades, resulting in the concomitant release of air pollutants. Air pollution needs to be monitored because of the known relationship between exposure to air pollutants and increased adverse effects on human health. This study monitored a group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); specifically BTEX (viz. benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes), as many are detrimental to human health. Through the use of passive sampling methods, the spatial variability of BTEX within an international airport was investigated, in order to determine ‘hotspots’ where occupational exposure to BTEX may be intensified. The passive sampling campaign revealed BTEXtotal concentrations ranged between 12.95–124.04 µg m-3. Furthermore, BTEX concentrations were dispersed heterogeneously within the airport. Due to the slow wind speeds recorded (1.13 m.s-1); the hotspots were located close to their main BTEX sources. The main hotspot was located over the main apron of the airport. Employees working in this area may be chronically exposed to these emissions, which could be potentially detrimental to their health.
Today, business executives need to have useful information to make better decisions. Banks have also been using information tools so that they can direct the decision-making process in order to achieve their desired goals by rapidly extracting information from sources with the help of business intelligence. The research seeks to investigate whether there is a relationship between the quality of decision making and the business intelligence capabilities of Mellat Bank. Each of the factors studied is divided into several components, and these and their relationships are measured by a questionnaire. The statistical population of this study consists of all managers and experts of Mellat Bank's General Departments (including 190 people) who use commercial intelligence reports. The sample size of this study was 123 randomly determined by statistical method. In this research, relevant statistical inference has been used for data analysis and hypothesis testing. In the first stage, using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the normalization of the data was investigated and in the next stage, the construct validity of both variables and their resulting indexes were verified using confirmatory factor analysis. Finally, using the structural equation modeling and Pearson's correlation coefficient, the research hypotheses were tested. The results confirmed the existence of a positive relationship between decision quality and business intelligence capabilities in Mellat Bank. Among the various capabilities, including data quality, correlation with other systems, user access, flexibility and risk management support, the flexibility of the business intelligence system was the most correlated with the dependent variable of the present research. This shows that it is necessary for Mellat Bank to pay more attention to choose the required business intelligence systems with high flexibility in terms of the ability to submit custom formatted reports. Subsequently, the quality of data on business intelligence systems showed the strongest relationship with quality of decision making. Therefore, improving the quality of data, including the source of data internally or externally, the type of data in quantitative or qualitative terms, the credibility of the data and perceptions of who uses the business intelligence system, improves the quality of decision making in Mellat Bank.
Romanian food products sold on European markets have been accused of several non-conformities of quality and safety. Most products incriminated last period were those of animal origin, especially meat and meat products. The study proposed an analysis of the notifications made by network members through Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed on products originating in Romania. As a source of information, the Rapid Alert System portal and the official communications of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority were used. The research results showed that nearly a quarter of network notifications were rejected and were withdrawn by the European Authority. Although national authorities present these issues as success stories of national quality policies, the large number of notifications related to the volume of exported products is worrying. The paper is of practical and applicative importance for both the business environment and the academic environment, laying the basis for a wider research on the quality differences between Romanian and imported products.
The three-phase power system suffers from different challenging problems, e.g. voltage unbalance conditions at the load side. The voltage unbalance usually degrades the power quality of the electric power system. Several techniques can be considered for load balancing including load reconfiguration, static synchronous compensator and static reactive power compensator. In this work an efficient neural network is designed to control the unbalanced condition in the Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) electric power system. It is designed for highly enhanced response time of the reactive compensator for voltage balancing. The neural network is developed to determine the appropriate set of firing angles required for the thyristor-controlled reactor to balance the three load voltages accurately and quickly. The parameters of AQSA power system are considered in the laboratory model, and several test cases have been conducted to test and validate the proposed technique capabilities. The results have shown a high performance of the proposed Neural Network Control (NNC) technique for correcting the voltage unbalance conditions at three-phase load based on accuracy and response time.
The Voltage Unbalance Factor (VUF) index is recommended to evaluate system performance under unbalanced operation. However, its calculation requires complex algebra which limits its use in the field. Furthermore, one system cycle is required at least to detect unbalance using the VUF. Ideally unbalance mitigation must be performed within 10 ms for 50 Hz systems. In this work, a linear relation for VUF evaluation in three-phase electrical power system using space vector (SV) is derived. It is proposed to determine the voltage unbalance quickly and accurately and to overcome the constraints associated with the traditional methods of VUF evaluation. Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) power system is considered to study the system performance under unbalanced conditions. The results show that both the complexity of calculations and the time required to evaluate VUF are reduced significantly.
At this stage, Georgia is a country which is actively involved in the European integration process, for which the primary priority is effective integration in the European education system. The modern Georgian higher education system is the process of establishing a new sociocultural reality, whose main priorities are determined by the Quality System as a continuous cycle of planning, implementation, checking and acting. Obviously, in this situation, the issue of management of education institutions comes out in the foreground, since the proper planning and implementation of personnel management processes is one of the main determinants of the company's performance. At the same time, one of the most important factors is the psychological comfort of the personnel, ensuring their protection and efficiency of stress management policy.
The purpose of this research is to determine how intensely the relationship is between the psychological comfort of the personnel and the efficiency of the quality system in the institution as the quality assurance mechanisms of educational institutions affect the stability of personnel, prevention and management of the stressful situation. The research was carried out within the framework of the Internal Grant Project «The Role of Organizational Culture in the Process of Settlement of Management of Stress and Conflict, Georgian Reality and European Experience » of the Batumi Navigation Teaching University, based on the analysis of the survey results of target groups. The small-scale research conducted by us has revealed that the introduction of quality assurance system and its active implementation increased the quality of management of Georgian educational institutions, increased the level of universal engagement in internal and external processes and as a result, it has improved the quality of education as well as social and psychological comfort indicators of the society.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze and apprehend, through four case studies, the interest of the project of the implementation of the quality management system (QMS) at four Moroccan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This project could generate significant organizational change to improve the functioning of the organization. In fact, quality is becoming a necessity in the current business world. It is considered to be a major component in companies’ competitive strategies. It should be noted that quality management is characterized by a set of methods and techniques that can be used to solve malfunctions and reorganize companies. It is useful to point out that the choice of the adoption of the quality approach could be influenced by the circumstances of the business context, it could also be derived from its strategic vision; this means that this choice can be characterized as either a strategic aspect or a reactive aspect. This would probably have a major impact on the functioning of the QMS and also on the perception of the quality issue by company managers and their employees.
Table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) are an important crop worldwide. Postharvest problems like berry shattering, decay and stem dehydration are some of the important factors that limit the marketing of table grapes. Edible coatings are an alternative for increasing shelf-life of fruits, protecting fruits from humidity and oxygen effects, thus retarding their deterioration. This study aimed to compare different grape seed oil applications (GSO, 0.5 g L-1, 1 g L-1, 2 g L-1) and SO2 generating pads effects (SO2-1, SO2-2). Treated grapes with GSO and generating pads were packaged into polyethylene trays and stored at 0 ± 1°C and 85-95% moisture. Effects of the applications were investigated by some quality and sensory evaluations with intervals of 15 days. SO2 applications were determined the most effective treatments for minimizing weight loss and changes in TA, pH, color and appearance value. Grape seed oil applications were determined as a good alternative for grape preservation, improving weight losses and °Brix, TA, the color values and sensory analysis. Commercially, ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ clusters were stored for 75 days and ‘Antep Karası’ clusters for 60 days. The data obtained from GSO indicated that it had a similar quality result to SO2 for up to 40 days storage.
Grid connected solar PV inverters need to be compliant to standard regulations regarding unwanted harmonic generation. This paper gives an introduction to harmonics, solar PV inverter voltage regulation and balancing through compensation and investigates the behaviour of harmonic generation at different power levels. Practical measurements of harmonics and power levels with a power quality data logger were made, on a test network at a university in Germany. The test setup and test results are discussed. The major finding was that between the morning and afternoon load peak windows when the PV inverters operate under low solar insolation and low power levels, more unwanted harmonics are generated. This has a huge impact on the power quality of the grid as well as capital and maintenance costs. The design of a single-tuned harmonic filter towards harmonic mitigation is presented.