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Natural antioxidants.

With the current increased interest in the efficacy and function of natural antioxidants in foods and biological systems, testing for antioxidant activity has received much attention. There is a need to standardize antioxidant testing to minimize the apparent confusion in processes used to evaluate antioxidants. More valid guidelines and assay protocols are needed. Several techniques now used and some model systems may not evaluate the true protective effects of antioxidants. Moreover, many factors can confound the data obtained. Such factors include the composition of the test system, the substrate to be protected and the way of inducing oxidation. You have to have very specific knowledge of the mechanisms of oxidation in order to prevent the formation of free radicals and the onset of oxidative deterioration. Specific lipid model systems should mimic the target food or physiological systems so that they can be protected as best as possible. We should first define the targets of oxidation--lipids, protein or DNA, for example--before selecting techniques for assessing the protective properties of antioxidants under the conditions of their possible use. Contact: Edwin Frankel, University of California, Davis, Department of Food Science and Technology, Davis, CA 95616. Phone: 530-752-4478. Fax: 530-752-4759. Email:

The formation of a protein or polysaccharide gel network is essential to the textural and water-holding properties of many foods. Besides protein or polysaccharides and water, food gels often contain lipids and sugars that contribute to their overall quality. In order to lower the caloric content of these gels, the precise function of lipids and sugars in the system must be understood so that overall quality can be maintained when lipids and sugars are reduced. Lipids function as a non-polar phase for flavor compounds, and as a filler component in the gel network. Altering the lipid content can change the flavor release profile and product texture. In food gels, sugars generally stabilize protein structure, add sweetness and generate flavor compounds, e.g., the Maillard reaction. As with lipids, other ways to achieve these functions would be required to successfully formulate low-calorie foods. These will be highly dependent on the sugar concentration, sugar type and pH of the gel. Contact: E. Allen Foegeding, Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Schaub Hall, Box 7624, Raleigh, NC 27695. Phone: 919-513-2244. Email:
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Title Annotation:Executives: FYI ...
Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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