Thu, Jan 12, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Institute takes 12 years to develop healthy grass type

Staff Writer, with CNA

A modified purple fountain grass developed by a Council of Agriculture research institute could be widely applied in many health products, the head of the institute said yesterday.

The modified purple fountain grass, known as Taiwan livestock grass (TLG) No. 5, took more than 12 years to develop by the Livestock Research Institute and contains high levels of anthocyanins, which are effective in removing free radicals, institute head Huang Ying-hao (黃英豪) said at an event to announce its research results for last year.

Tests have shown that extracts of the grass can slow the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) up to three times faster than TLG No. 2, Huang said.

Oxidized LDLs are known to pose a particular threat in cardiovascular diseases.

The institute has developed products with anthocyanin such as drinks, tea, livestock feed, gelatin, cakes and ham, Huang said, adding that many private firms are making products from the grass, which they describe as “health grass.”

The grass, with the scientific name pennisetum setaceum, can be grown without pesticides, Huang said.

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