Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Radical Scavengers in Red Smear Cheeses

15.12.2008
Natural carotenoid with unusual structure protects against oxidative damage

Carotenoids not only give carrots and red smear cheeses, such as Munster, Limburger, and Romadur, their characteristic red color, but they also protect organisms from oxidative stress.

A research team headed by Hans-Dieter Martin and Wilhelm Stahl at the University of Düsseldorf has now synthesized and characterized one of these carotenoids in the lab. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this compound is characterized by outstanding antioxidative and photoprotective properties.

Ranging in color from yellow to purple, carotenoids are pigments found throughout nature that act, among other things, as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect organisms from oxidative stress by capturing reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. Antioxidants are also added to foods, drugs, and plastics to prevent the oxidation of sensitive molecules.

Brevibacterium linens, bacteria used for the production of red smear cheeses, contain 3,3’-dihydorxyisorenieratene (DHIR), a carotenoid with a unique structure. Carotenoids are made of a long hydrocarbon chain with alternating single and double bonds. In addition, DHIR has phenolic groups, aromatic six-membered rings of carbon atoms with an OH group, at either end of the chain. Phenolic compounds are also known to be antioxidants; for example, they are present in the tannins in tea and wine.

By using a new synthetic route, the German research team was able to produce enough DHIR for the first comprehensive study of its properties. This revealed it to be an excellent antioxidant that beats other highly effective carotenoid antioxidants by a mile. In addition, its photoprotective properties are outstanding: DHIR protects cells from damage by UV radiation by absorbing UV light as well as capturing the free radicals produced by the radiation. These amazing antioxidative and photoprotective properties seem to stem from synergistic cooperation of the carotenoid and phenolic structural elements of DHIR.

When scavenging free radicals, in some cases both of the phenolic groups are first oxidized to quinoid groups. The resulting quinoid carotenoid, which the researchers were also able to synthesize and characterize, is itself also a very strong antioxidant. Interestingly, it is blue and thus broadens the color palette attainable with carotenoids.

Whether DHIR and its quinoid oxidation product can be used industrially as food and feed colorants, cosmetics, or antioxidants, is currently under investigation. These compounds may also be useful for the prevention of degenerative diseases related to free-radical damage, such as macular degeneration.

Author: Hans-Dieter Martin, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany), http://www.chemie.uni-duesseldorf.de/Faecher/Organische_Chemie/OC1/Martin

Title: 3,3’-Dihydroxyisorenieratene, a Natural Carotenoid with Superior Antioxidant and Photoprotective Properties

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2009, 48, No. 2, doi: 10.1002/anie.200803668

Hans-Dieter Martin | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.chemie.uni-duesseldorf.de/Faecher/Organische_Chemie/OC1/Martin

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht eTRANSAFE – collaborative research project aimed at improving safety in drug development process
26.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht Beer can lift your spirits
26.09.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bacterial Nanosized Speargun Works Like a Power Drill

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

The fastest light-driven current source

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Beer can lift your spirits

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>