Natural Antioxidants

Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero - Facultad de Agronomía y Agroindustrias

Diciembre 18, 2013 | 4 ′ 24 ′′


Natural Antioxidants


A team of researchers is devoted to the study of antioxidants in food and oxidative damage in biological systems. The specialists point to take advantage of the natural substances present in cactaceous species to apply them as food colorings. This kind of substances have beneficial effects proved in health, given that it prevents different diseases, such as cardiovascular and those related to the central nervous system.

The province of Santiago del Estero, located in the center of Argentina, is characterized by having extensive regions with vegetation which characterizes semi arid zones. “Our research team is interested in studying the effect of natural antioxidants, especially in cactaceae. As part of our work we analyze different factors which affect the oxidative stability of food, that is, its resistance to oxidize and how the presence of natural components called ‘antioxidants’, which can also be added, affect this susceptibility to oxidative deterioration” said to Argentina Investiga Doctor Mónica Nazareno, teacher of the School of Agronomy and Agroindustries of the Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero and director of the research.

Opuntia ficus-indica, called “Amarilla sin espinas”, is widely known in the province. It has a characteristic green core. Also in the province of Santiago del Estero there are others in different colors: yellow, violet, orange and red. “These different colors -explains the specialist- come from the presence of different pigments. The research objective is to characterize the compounds responsible for this fruit coloring and take advantage of these natural substances so that they can be applied as nutritional colorings. Nowadays we study how to solve the problem of pigments’ lack of stability and the way of vehiculize them in a nutritional system”.

This study is carried out through the evaluation of the profile of pigments by different chromatography methods, for example, liquid chromatography HPLC with diode array detection, with the aim of characterizing the fruit color. These colorings might be applied in dairy products as yoghurts and cream; also in jelly, juice and marmalades. Regarding this, the researcher explains the benefits of using these colorings: “It is very common to see that fruit marmalades which contain anthocyanins, during processing, tend to become brownish; in the case of betalainic nature pigments, as those in cactaceae, they are more resistant to deterioration and keep their color. An example of this are ucle or purple cactus marmalades, which are pink or red, even after the cooking time of the process”.

After being consulted about why she recommends the use of natural colorings, the researcher warns about the questioning made to artificial colorings due to their damaging effects for health. On the contrary, the natural colorings which come from fruit or other food are not damaging for health. It is interesting to highlight that color is one of the main attributes for the preference of food; important studies show that artificial colorings produce attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and after their elimination, diverse experiments show an increment in the academic performance of the populations studied.

Besides, recent scientific studies showed that these kind of natural pigments, like betalains, as well as carotenoids, anthocyanins and other pigments have beneficial effects for health, given that they prevent different diseases, for example, cardiovascular, atherosclerosis and those related to the central nervous system, such as Parkinson, Alzheimer and cancer, among others.

After carrying out this research, Doctor Nazareno explains that cactaceae have natural sources of antioxidant substances and others related to these properties. Different research groups all over the world have described the different properties related to health and showed scientifically that the regular consumption of cactaceae has the capacity to prevent diverse diseases.

Liana Chazarreta
liana@unse.edu.ar
Liana Chazarreta
Centro de Comunicación Institucional (CECOMI)


Una frutilla blanca silvestre en Argentina

Una frutilla blanca silvestre en Argentina

Es el primer registro de esta especie en Sudamérica y, según los investigadores, su estudio genético puede servir para mejorar la frutilla roja comercial al fortalecer su resistencia a enfermedades y a condiciones ambientales adversas.

Jornadas de Yerba Mate y Salud

Jornadas de Yerba Mate y Salud

Con la presencia de especialistas de Argentina y de distintos países de Latinoamérica, en la Universidad Maza de Mendoza se realizaron las V Jornadas de Yerba Mate y Salud. Durante las exposiciones, que se desarrollaron entre el 15 y 16 de agosto en la sede de la Casa de Estudios, se dieron a conocer numerosos avances en investigaciones sobre las propiedades y los beneficios del consumo de la yerba mate.

Cocina, investigación y ciencia

Cocina, investigación y ciencia

Un equipo de investigación diseñó platos listos para consumir, optimizados en su perfil nutricional mediante el agregado de antioxidantes y micronutrientes. Se utiliza la técnica de impregnación al vacío, que permite añadir valor agregado a la producción de alimentos regionales (carne aviar y hortalizas).

Sobre suplementos dietarios y complementos multivitamínicos

Sobre suplementos dietarios y complementos multivitamínicos

Los profesionales alzan la voz: muchas personas consumen suplementos dietarios con el afán de mejorar su rendimiento físico o mental, mientras que en el mundo de la actividad física se utilizan los peligrosos anabólicos. Especialistas de la Universidad Juan Agustín Maza alertan sobre estas problemáticas que van en aumento.

Alimentos nutracéuticos, el futuro de la ganadería del NEA

Alimentos nutracéuticos, el futuro de la ganadería del NEA

Estos alimentos son aquellos que además del aporte nutricional están orientados a la prevención de enfermedades. Profesionales, apoyados en investigaciones realizadas, consideran factible orientar la producción ganadera regional a la obtención de carne, leche y derivados “nutracéuticos”.

Extractos de lisianthus para combatir hongos del durazno

Extractos de lisianthus para combatir hongos del durazno

Investigadores de Esperanza utilizan un destilado de flores azules de Eustoma grandiflorum. Se trata de una flor de gran importancia económica por su uso en ornamentación, pero los especialistas estiman que puede tener valor agregado por su actividad biológica contra un hongo que es patógeno de frutas y puede ser una alternativa a los antifúngicos de síntesis química.

Video channel 103

Most sent