Powerful, nature-inspired antioxidants
The organic compound found in garlic, called allicin, is one of the most effective antioxidants found in nature. As a result of its unique chemistry, it would be an ideal antioxidant for use in the rubber, plastic, cosmetics, food, and fuel industries. However, when the compound is removed from the garlic, its odour is too strong and it breaks apart too easily, proving to be unstable and therefore ineffective for use in commercial applications.
In 2011, GreenCentre provided proof of principle funding to Dr. Derek Pratt at the University of Ottawa to make and test a molecule that has a structure similar to that of allicin but without the odour. The project was very successful and GreenCentre has recently in-licensed the technology.
This new molecule is stable, non-toxic, does not have any odour, and is proving to be a better antioxidant than garlic itself. This method of emulating nature is called biomimicry. The technology is also unique in its ability to produce antioxidants on demand in the presence of free radicals while reverting to an inactive state when they are not needed. Because of its reversible properties, the molecules will have a longer shelf life than many standard antioxidants, offering more effective products that require powerful protection, which includes UV-resistant coatings, personal care products such as sunscreen, and food packaging.
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