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Wheaty wastes fight rancidity.

Manufacturers rely on additives -- mostly synthetic compounds -- to retard oxidation, natural chemical reactions that can turn fat-bearing foods rancid. However, concern about the potential carcinogenicity of the most popular synthetic antioxidants, especially BHT and BHA (SN:2/15/92, p. 104), has driven a search for all-natural alternatives. Cereal scientists at North Dakota State University in Fargo believe they have identified a promising source in durum wheat (Triticum durum).

Several cereal grains -- including durum -- contain naturally high levels of phenols, aromatic organic chemicals that often exhibit antioxidant properties. Sylvester N. Onyeneho and Navam S. Hettiarachchy produced phenolic extracts from wastes in the production of durum semolina (a milling fraction used in high-quality pastas, such as macaroni and spaghetti).

When added to oil, all extracts displayed antioxidant activity, the researchers report in the September JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY. Bran's share was highest, cutting oxidation 70 percent over that seen in unprotected oil. Though a mix of BHA and BHT provided 12 percent more protection from oxidation, Onyeneho and Hettiarachchy believe improved separation techniques may eventually yield durum extracts that match or exceed the protection offered by such synthetic antioxidants.
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Title Annotation:alternative food preservatives
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 17, 1992
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