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Antioxidant capacity of orange juice is multiplied tenfold

17 December 2014

Your morning glass of orange juice has just got better for you than you realised, according to research carried out by the University of Grenada.

It is well known that orange juice is a good source of vitamins C and A, it may also have anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce blood pressure and may help lower cholesterol levels. Orange juice is also known as a source of antioxidants, which may prevent cell damage in the body.

Until recently the antioxidant properties of orange juice have only been measured in the liquid part of the juice, as it was assumed that these chemicals could only be taken up by the small intestine from the liquid phase.

In their study at the University of Grenada, José Ángel Rufián Henares and his team used an in-vitro simulation of the human digestive tract in a technique called 'global antioxidant response' or GAR. In these tests it was demonstrated that the uptake of antioxidants was not limited to the small intestine from the liquid portion of the juice. Once the fibre portion of the juice arrives into the large intestine, gut microbes can further break down the fibre allowing more antioxidants to be released and absorbed by the body.
In this research the team was able to demonstrate that in many citrus juices, the potential antioxidant properties were up to 10 times higher than previously thought, using the GAR simulation. 

The information from this study could be used by health officials to better understand the oxidant properties, but also by food producers and manufacturers to better classify raw materials to allow for better storage and process conditions. [Science Direct] [Eureka Direct]

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