Please login first
Functional foods or over-hyped? Observations on the antioxidant and phenolic content of Australian foodstuffs
* 1, 2 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2 , 2
1  University of Queensland
2  Central Queensland University
Academic Editor: Joana Amaral


Consumers are showing increasing awareness of the concept of ‘functional foods’: foods which can provide health benefits in addition to their nutritional value. There is particular demand for foods with a high antioxidant and phenolic content, which may improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and slow or prevent the onset of chronic, non-communicable diseases. However, there is a lack of comprehensive databases using consistent analytical protocols to analyse the antioxidant and phenolic content of different food types – particularly in regional areas such as Australia. Over the past four years, our laboratory has analysed over 1,000 food-related samples using several antioxidant capacity assays (ferric reducing antioxidant power – FRAP – and cupric reducing antioxidant capacity – CUPRAC), as well as the total phenolic content (TPC) by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Here, we provide a summary of this data by different food types, to inform researchers, policy planners, nutritionists and consumers about the typical levels of antioxidants and total phenolics found across a range of Australian foodstuffs, particularly grains. Additionally, we discuss observations on the correlation between the FRAP, CUPRAC and TPC assays.

Keywords: phytochemicals; total phenolic content; antioxidant capacity; correlation; health benefits; bioac-tives