Professor’s antioxidant research leads to snack bar

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When Joseph Francis was growing up in India, he would watch his father mix plants and spices to make home remedies for various ailments.

“He would go to the impoverished areas in the city and use the mixtures to help those that could not afford to go to the hospital or were written off by conventional medicine,” Francis recalled.

Years later, inspired by the remedies that had been passed down the generations to his father, Francis would develop his own interest in the health benefits of certain foods. As a neuroscientist at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, he studies how antioxidants in fruits like blueberries can reduce brain inflammation in people and animals with depression and other health conditions.

All of this eventually led Francis to the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator, where he has been making four flavors of his Pranam Superfoods “antioxidant bars” since December. They are already being sold in eight stores in Baton Rouge and seven others elsewhere in Louisiana.


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