According to the researchers, all synthetic red pigment No. 40 (one of the main pigments used in the United States) can be replaced with natural pigments extracted from about 600,000 acres of corn because the industry has the ability to produce enough anthocyanins. Peel for the manufacturer to add to food or beverage or special products with medicinal properties.
The team developed 20 purple maize gene varieties from a red corn variety called Apache Red, each containing a unique combination of natural anthocyanins that not only gave the skin a bright color, but also was very nutritious.
Professor Juvik said that the advantage of extracting natural anthocyanins from the skin by water is that it is the simplest, most direct and cheapest method of industrially extracting these compounds compared to other expensive and complex extraction methods. In addition, corn has another advantage that it can be dried, which can effectively stabilize the shelf life, thus providing an economical alternative to perishable and rotten fruits and vegetables. This is because many manufacturers often use fruits and vegetables as a lot of Coloring of food and beverages.
Anthocyanins fight non-communicable diseases
The researchers used pressurized water to extract anthocyanins from the skin of the corn kernels, and obtained an anthocyanin-rich water extract, which was then freeze-dried. Although studies have shown that the peel is the most abundant source of anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, the content of the different varieties is significantly different.
Phenols are a class of compounds that are widely found in plant tissues and have an aromatic scent that plays an important role in the color, flavor and acidity of the fruit. Anthocyanins are a common class of phenolics, and studies have shown that eating foods rich in anthocyanins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Prevention of obesity
To study the effects of anthocyanins on obesity-induced inflammation, the researchers combined mouse adipocytes with macrophages (called immune cells) and simulated lipid and inflammatory concentrations in cells using two mouse cell models. High obese people, as well as healthy individuals who regularly consume plants containing phenolic compounds. According to the researchers, these are very real models that can be translated into in vivo studies in humans or animals.
Fat formation refers to the process by which precursor fat cells transform into mature fat that accumulates fat. The researchers evaluated biomarkers associated with adipogenesis and inflammation. It was found that the phenolic compounds in the extract changed the development of the cells, and the fat content in the fat cells decreased by 8% to 56%, depending on the type of phenolic substances.
To study the effects of compounds on insulin resistance, a metabolic dysfunction associated with diabetes, scientists used a cellular signaling protein to induce insulin resistance in mouse adipocytes, then treated cells with anthocyanins and monitored glucose. Ingestion.
It was found that a key indicator of insulin resistance decreased by 29%-64% depending on the chemical composition of anthocyanins used, while glucose uptake was reduced by 30%-139%. The researchers also observed that very important changes have taken place in the molecules of insulin-resistant fat cells, which have reduced oxidative stress and inflammation; in addition, important changes have been made in pro-inflammatory molecules in immune cells.
Studies have shown that phenolic compounds at different levels and in different chemical compositions may prevent obesity or improve insulin levels in obese individuals.
Phenolic compounds synergistically
Researcher de Mejia said that some of the smaller phenolic components, such as quercetin, luteolin and rutin, are widely found in plant foods that reduce obesity and inflammation, as well as certain markers of type 2 diabetes. It plays a key role, and other ingredients, such as vanillic acid and protocatechuic acid, reduce the potential for the potential conversion of precursor fat cells to fat cells. However, it should be noted that not only one or two compounds, but phenolic compounds are combined to produce a beneficial effect.
The research team is currently conducting genome screening to identify DNA markers associated with the most promising health effects to breed maize hybrids with these characteristics.