Don't Get Swayed by ORAC Antioxidant Values!

Have you encountered any food item with prominent antioxidant values. I mean exact antioxidant measurement in ORAC scale. Maybe you have seen it already or you love eating foods with high ORAC declaration. Free radical are really notorious in causing diseases and antioxidants are its good fighters. So eating antioxidant reach foods is a good way to fight free radicals effect.

I first encountered the term “ORAC” upon receipt of the two bottles of Numi Pu-erh tea. I taught it was an organization which test foods for antioxidant values but it turned out to be a method for determination.

ORAC, an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. It was developed by USDA in cooperation with Tufts University during mid-1990. Gained credibility in 2007 when USDA published food ORAC values and updated in 2010. However it was removed in February 2012 when marketers indiscriminately use it for product promotion, claiming ORAC values way beyond data and seem making it a measure of food healthfulness.

ORAC test is a patented and sensitive process. It is protected under law and few labs have the right equipment to do it. According to, ORAC test was introduced by Brunswick Labs. It is a proprietary cell-based antioxidant assay (CAA) for measuring product safety and efficacy in biological environment. It is an in vitro (a test tube test) method to measure antioxidant potential, however, does not provide real life info. Brunswick is a benchmark lab for orac test.

It is the most sensitive and most reliable measure for antioxidant capacity. It is estimated by ferric reducing power and expressed as micromole Trolox equivalent (TE) per 100 grams (uTE/100g). It is 5% more or less accurate.

More taught.

1) It is a crude process and should not be used for marketing purposes or basis of foods actual health performance.

2) A well performing antioxidant in a test tube might not do well inside human body.

3) Antioxidant anthocyanins may not be well absorbed in the body. Some powerful antioxidant of raw brocolli were not recorded in lab test.

4) It has no real relevance to food’s antioxidant effects to human body.

5) ORAC is still a valuable analytic tool in connection with investigative methods.

sources: 1,2,3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.