Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Health: polyphenols on a plate

02.04.2007
Polyphenols have much better antioxidant properties than vitamins, and have been the object of growing interest on the part of nutritionists, epidemiologists, agrifood firms and consumers over the past decade or so.

Their main advantage is that they protect against numerous diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. In particular, they help fight the formation of free radicals in the human body and thus slow cell ageing. They are found in many common consumer products, primarily in fruit and vegetables but also in processed products such as chocolate, tea or wine.

Nobody knew until now the precise total polyphenol content of different foods or the level of consumption in France. A composition table compiled by CIRAD and its partners now goes some way towards providing an answer to those questions. The table was produced under the French Research Ministry's Nutrialis programme. Researchers studied 162 samples from 24 vegetables and 71 samples from 28 fruits. The total polyphenol content of 85 tea samples was also analysed.

It is not always the fruits and vegetables with the highest polyphenol contents that are the most consumed

It is strawberries, lychees and grapes that have the highest polyphenol contents, but vegetables are not far behind, particularly artichokes, parsley and brussels sprouts. Moreover, the total amount consumed plays a considerable role. As Pierre Brat, a CIRAD biochemist, points out: "If we look at total polyphenol content in apples, they rank fifth compared to other fruits, but the extent of their consumption places them first!". Likewise, in terms of vegetables, potatoes rank just 19th, but their massive consumption means that they account for almost 60% of the polyphenols obtained from vegetables.

This was the aim of the table compiled by CIRAD and its partners: to set product composition against consumption. The working method used to do this is in itself a tangible result of the study. In effect, the researchers had to select a range of fresh fruits and vegetables that was representative of consumption in France. To this end, they took account of the different varieties eaten, the different production sites and countries and where those fruits and vegetables are purchased. Total polyphenol content was then analysed using a technique adapted from a chemical colorimetric assay method: the Folin Ciocalteu method. The researchers then established a relation between the result obtained and consumption levels. In this last stage, the team's links with the Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments (AFSSA) proved crucial, since the researchers were able to use two AFSSA databases: one on food consumption - Suvimax - and the other - Secodip - on fresh fruit and vegetable purchases. Moreover, AFSSA will be making the table available to researchers and the general public on its website shortly.

Researchers are preparing to analyse the polyphenol content of processed products

This research is now continuing under a new project, Phenobase, coordinated by the Centre technique de la conservation des produits agricoles in Avignon, in which CIRAD is also involved. The aim is to supplement the composition table, this time by looking at the so-called "processed" products included in the daily diet in France.

Both these products have called upon CIRAD researchers' expertise, notably in terms of citrus fruit treatments. The method developed under the Nutrialis programme, for its part, is currently being disseminated to CIRAD's partners in developing countries.

Helen Burford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cirad.fr/en/actualite/communique.php?id=673

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>