Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Values

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Values NutriData can perform an ORAC nutrient analysis of your recipe or formula and determine the ORAC value of your specific product.

The Nutrient Data Laboratory\USDA has developed a database on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) and total phenolic compounds (TP) of 275 selected foods. Many fruits, nuts, vegetables and spices have been analyzed for their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, known as ORAC. The new database provides antioxidant values for a wide variety of foods, many of which may be excellent sources of healthful compounds.

Importance of ORAC Values- The database will be used by scientists to help guide ongoing research into how antioxidants may correlate to health benefits. For example, many fruits and vegetables are known to be good sources of antioxidant vitamins, such as E, C, and beta carotene, a form of vitamin A. But these natural foods also contain other compounds, collectively known as phytonutrients, that may contribute to health. The development of many chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cancer (1), heart disease (5), and neuronal degeneration such as Alzheimer’s (4) and Parkinson’s disease (9) has been theorized to be caused, in part, by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has also been implicated in the process of aging (2). It is known that reactive oxygen species can damage biological molecules such as proteins, lipids, and DNA. While the human body has developed a number of systems to eliminate free radicals from the body, it is not 100% efficient.

Diets rich in fruits, nuts, and vegetables have long been considered to be an excellent source of antioxidants. A number of minerals and vitamins have a role as dietary antioxidants in addition to their other biological functions. These include vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E and its isomers (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and selenium.

ORAC values may differ due to a wide array of reasons, such as cultivar, growing conditions, harvesting, food processing and preparation, sampling, and analytical procedures