Antioxidant content of fruit and vegetables may have been underestimated
Antioxidant content of fruit more than previously thought?
Source: Nutraingredients, 31 August 2009
We may be underestimating the antioxidant content of fruit and vegetables, according to an international team of scientists from Spain and the UK.
While the polyphenol content of fruits usually refers to extractable polyphenols, new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that the non-extractable polyphenol content is up to five times higher than extractable compounds.
According to studies with apple, peach and nectarine, previous measures to quantify polyphenols may have been limited by the extraction technique.
"These [non-extractable] polyphenols need to be treated with acid to extract them from the cell walls of fruit in the lab," said lead author Sara Arranz from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid. "If non-extractable polyphenols are not considered, the levels of beneficial polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins, ellagic acid and catechin are substantially underestimated."
After recent and increasing attacks on all things natural, this is a breath of fresh air. The study highlights that nature is providing for us and we don’t have to rely on man-made chemicals, or genetically altered food. Most people instinctively realise this but it’s nice to have evidence for those inclined to believe the biotech spin.
As we know antioxidants and other phytonutrients are of vital importance, and it is encouraging to hear that there is still research going on to look into what is naturally provided for us. Much of the research these days focuses on what can be injected into what, to try and alter something and create something different. People seem to forget that nature has done a pretty good job so far in protecting us, and supplying us with all the nutrients that we need.
The phrase that springs to mind is ‘why re-invent the wheel?’ Why work to create an anti-cancer purple tomato injected with genes from the snapdragon flower to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, ease the symptoms of diabetes and relieve a number of age-related illnesses when fruits and vegetables are well equipped to do this already?
Because you still can't patent nature, so where is the profit to be made?