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I-Corps: Novel Natural Antioxidants Extracted From Animal Blood


<p>This project investigates the development of a natural antioxidant to be used as a food preservative. Natural antioxidants currently available on the market are usually obtained from plant sources, via extraction or a similar procedure. For instance, natural tocopherols (vitamin e) are refined from vegetable oils such as soybean oil. Other common natural antioxidants used in food industry such as rosemary oil extract are also isolated from plant sources. Extraction and purification procedures for these processes are time consuming and expensive, leading to high price of natural antioxidants. Much less attention has been paid thus far to natural antioxidants extracted from animal tissues. Animal or poultry blood could be of special interest as a potential source of natural antioxidants because of its low cost and broad availability. In addition, erythrocytes present in blood are equipped with an extremely efficient antioxidant 'machinery' to protect the cell from continuous exposure to high levels of oxygen. Availability of potent antioxidant activity in erythrocytes prompted us to look into feasibility of commercially viable isolation of antioxidants from these cells. This project has the potential to further advance methods of extraction and characterization of antioxidants from animal/poultry blood and provide better insight on their safety and susceptibility to bacterial contamination. This could also advance knowledge about performance and stability of antioxidants extracted in partially purified form, in a mixture with other blood components. Application of antioxidants increases the shelf life of food products and helps to maintain their healthiness, taste and nutritional value, whether it is used for preservation of animal or human food. The antioxidant developed through this project is a 'green' product and responsive to society's demand for naturally derived products and will provide a cost-efficient way to address this demand. Even more broadly, this antioxidant can be used in any products where lipid oxidation has a negative effect on the product quality (e.g., as a preservative human food, and as antioxidant in varnishes, latexes, oil paints, etc.), which can provide markets for this product and further stimulate economic development.</p>

Vertegel, Alexey A
Clemson University
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