Looking for protein-derived antioxidants

Dr. Feng Chen, Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, is working to find natural antioxidant materials from rendered animal products. Working with his wife, biochemist Dr. Xi Wang, he has discovered that by enzymatically clipping protein chains within collagen, he can create smaller peptides that have a very strong antioxidant capacity.

This is of great importance to the rendering industry as a potential protective agent for animal fats in feeds. Oxygen causes rancidity to occur in exposed fats. Currently used natural antioxidants such as tocopherols are expensive.

By utilizing animal protein-derived antioxidants, this project could offer tremendous cost savings to renderers for antioxidant protection of rendered fats as well as a new high-value market product from rendered proteins.