A team of researchers from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP) a joint centre of the Universitat PolitÃ¨cnica de ValÃ¨ncia and CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council have identified a novel and potent natural antioxidant occurring in tomato plants. It is a phenolic substance that is synthesised by the tomato plant when it is subjected to biotic stress. Until now, it was completely unknown.
The UPV and CSIC have registered the national and international patents of the new antioxidant and the laboratory procedures used to isolate and synthesise it chemically. The finding was recently published in the journal Environmental and Experimental Botany.
IBMCP researchers point out that the antioxidant power of the new compound is much higher 14 times higher, to be precise than, for example, that of resveratrol, a well-known antioxidant, found in red wine, which can delay cellular aging. In addition, it is 4.5 times more potent than vitamin E and 10 times more potent than vitamin C.
This substance could have multiple applications. For example, in the food industry it could be used as a preservative in food for human consumption and in animal fodder, because of its action as a retarder of lipid oxidation. This powerful antioxidant would prevent changes such as fats and oils becoming rancid, which diminishes food quality extremely. It could also be used as a supplement to functional products.
It should also be noted that antioxidants have beneficial health properties, such as helping to prevent coronary heart disease
; therefore, the compound could have major applications in the pharmaceutical industry.
Other possible uses for it could be in the petrochemical industry, as a preservative of gasoline, and in the polymer industry, where it could be used in the manufacture of fibres, rubber products, geotextiles and others. In this case, the antioxidant would be used...