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J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2812-9.

Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods, beverages and oils consumed in Italy assessed by three different in vitro assays.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.

Abstract

Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an inverse association between consumption of fruits and vegetables and morbidity and mortality from degenerative diseases. The antioxidant content of fruits and vegetables may contribute to the protection they offer from disease. Because plant foods contain many different classes and types of antioxidants, knowledge of their total antioxidant capacity (TAC), which is the cumulative capacity of food components to scavenge free radicals, would be useful for epidemiologic purposes. To accomplish this, a variety of foods commonly consumed in Italy, including 34 vegetables, 30 fruits, 34 beverages and 6 vegetable oils, were analyzed using three different assays, i.e., Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP) and ferric reducing-antioxidant power (FRAP). These assays, based on different chemical mechanisms, were selected to take into account the wide variety and range of action of antioxidant compounds present in actual foods. Among vegetables, spinach had the highest antioxidant capacity in the TEAC and FRAP assays followed by peppers, whereas asparagus had the greatest antioxidant capacity in the TRAP assay. Among fruits, the highest antioxidant activities were found in berries (i.e., blackberry, redcurrant and raspberry) regardless of the assay used. Among beverages, coffee had the greatest TAC, regardless of the method of preparation or analysis, followed by citrus juices, which exhibited the highest value among soft beverages. Finally, of the oils, soybean oil had the highest antioxidant capacity, followed by extra virgin olive oil, whereas peanut oil was less effective. Such data, coupled with an appropriate questionnaire to estimate antioxidant intake, will allow the investigation of the relation between dietary antioxidants and oxidative stress-induced diseases.

PMID:
12949370
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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