Feruloylnoradrenaline (FNA) is a newly discovered antioxidant that has been found by researchers of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP) in Spain when they subjected certain types of tomato plants to stress. In this case, the plant activates mechanisms that increase the levels of Feruloylnoradrenaline. FNA is reported to be 4.5 times more potent than vitamin E, 10 times more potent than vitamin C and 14 times more than resveratrol, a well-known antioxidant found in red wine.

The researchers from Spain said that the novel FNA antioxidant "possessed the highest free radical scavenging activity among the induced secondary metabolites, and was much higher than that of the synthetic antioxidant butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) control extensively used in the food industry to avoid undesirable oxidations."

Where are we likely to find Feruloylnoradrenaline in the future?

As the team of the IBMCP has developed a simple and economical process for synthesizing FNA in the laboratory, Feruloylnoradrenaline could be used as a preservative. Because of its ability to retard lipid oxidation, it would prevent changes such as fats and oils becoming rancid. Furthermore Feruloylnoradrenaline could be used in supplements or as an ingredient in normal foods. The researchers also said, it would be interesting to generate tomato plants with elevated levels of this antioxidant compound.

The antioxidant power of tomatoes

Besides Feruloylnoradrenaline, tomatoes are rich of other antioxidant compounds such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and the carotenoid lycopene (see the nutrients of red tomatoes).

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