The future is bright for antioxidants

Almost everyone who goes grocery shopping has seen a slew of antioxidant products spring up on the shelves over the past few years. Ten years ago, most people had never even heard of an “antioxidant”, but according to a recent report, “29 percent of U.S. adults are seeking out high-antioxidant groceries”. What’s more, this number is expected to climb even higher over the next ten years, as consumers gain further knowledge of the numerous potential health benefits of antioxidants, such as anti-cancer and immunity-boosting properties.

Doctor holding an apple

While plenty of cereals, breads, nutritional supplements and even beauty care products now emphasize antioxidant content on their labels, many shoppers miss that fruits and vegetables naturally have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all foods. The top 20 list of the foods with the highest antioxidant capacity from the USDA is a must read. What’s more, three different apple varieties made the list!

Delicious and healthy – you couldn’t ask for much more in an apple, right? Well, there’s even more. If you’ve had a chance to read about the science behind our nonbrowning Arctic® apples, you know that we use gene silencing to turn down expression of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO), virtually eliminating Arctic® apples’ PPO production so the fruit doesn’t brown when bitten, cut or bruised. In a conventional apple, PPO mixes with polyphenols, burning them both up in the process. With Arctic® apples, this reaction is avoided, leaving intact the apple’s natural polyphenols, the most abundant antioxidants in the diet!

As we always say: Keep in mind that, as our doctors and dietitians will tell us, we should take any new health news with a grain of salt and an eye on the big picture. Research about antioxidants and their potential health benefits in an actual human body is still very young. Until a food’s health benefits are unequivocally proven in well-designed human feeding studies, we’re just guessing about what works. In the meantime, the prudent course is to eat a healthy, varied diet and exercise regularly. Of course, we hope you’ll include lots of apples in that diet!

 

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About Joel Brooks

Growing up in the Okanagan Valley, Joel had the opportunity to experience apple growing first hand, a background that helped lead him to his role as Product & Special Projects Manager. Joel feels privileged to work with such great people towards a goal that’s so easy to get behind – helping people to eat more apples!

Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I am currently researching Arctic Apples as a debate topic for school, and it would be nice if you could tell whether or not Arctic Apples are higher in Antioxidant than normal apples or not.

    • Joel

      While the antioxidant content of Arctic apples will continue to be examined further, the early results from our field trials do suggest both Arctic® Grannies and Arctic® Goldens may have higher levels of antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.

      The results of the nutritional analysis of our field trials in New York state and Washington state are shared in our petition to the USDA, and we invite you to look into the specific numbers here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/10_16101p.pdf#page=81

      That links to section 6.4 “Nutrition and Compositional Analysis” and pages 81-88 (particularly page 88) should prove to be the most helpful. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s any other information we can provide and good luck in your debate!

       

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