State College, PA—Researchers at Penn State found that a natural antioxidant in grain bran preserves food nearly as long as synthetic antioxidants currently used by the food industry,according to Science Daily.

The article says that the Penn State researchers studied compounds called alkylresorcinols (ARs), which are produced naturally by plants such as wheat, rye, and barley, to prevent mold, bacteria, and other organisms from growing on the grain kernels. The ARs acted as antioxidants in an emulsion, preventing omega-3 oils from spoiling as rapidly as they did without added antioxidants.

While they didn’t preserve the emulsion as well as synthetics,the researchers notedthat their AR extracts were not completely pure, which could have reduced the effectiveness, and that they used a blend of different types of ARs.

Future research, the researchers suggested, should focus on whether or not an individual AR type is better than conventionally used antioxidants.

Andrew S. Elder, doctoral candidate in food science, told Science Daily, “We’re trying to identify natural antioxidants that are consumer-friendly, safe, and effective. We hope that one day this work will lead to ARs being available on the market and provide more options for the food industry to use.”

This comes on the heels of a statement made by Kemin Industries in November 2018, as reported on byWholeFoods, stating that a study of their rosemary-green tea extract protected pork patties just as well as synthetic preservatives.