September 19, 2020

Concept of antioxidant in food

Antioxidants are a class of chemical substances naturally found in food which can prevent or reduce the oxidative stress of the physiological system.

These are substances or compounds which play crucial role in the prevention of many diseases or disorders as well as cancer. Antioxidants are also said to slow the aging process.

They protect cells in human body from damage that are caused by highly reactive molecules. These highly reactive molecules are called free radicals. Failure of antioxidants to adequately antagonize the toxicity of free radicals causes oxidative stress which ultimately leads to acute and chronic immune; and non-immune injuries to tissues.

Free radicals form in biological systems through metabolism, but it is also realized that exogenous environmental sources, such as radiation, food, and drugs, contribute significantly to the generation of free radicals in biological systems.

Free radical species are unstable and highly reactive or destructive chemicals (i.e. unstable atoms or molecules). Free radicals have an incomplete electron shell that makes them more chemically reactive than molecules with complete electron shells. Free radical might responsible for the cell damage in the body and contribute to various kinds of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration, and cancer.

Antioxidants are an inhibitor of the process of oxidation, even at relatively small concentration and thus have diverse physiological role in the body.

A variety of free radical scavenging antioxidants is found in dietary sources like fruits, vegetables and tea, etc. Antioxidants, natural or synthetic food preservatives, are additives that preserve food from “farm to plate”. Due to their high stability and low volatility, the antioxidants help to maintain the level of nutrients, the texture, color, taste, freshness, functionality, aroma, and appeal to consumers such as the older person, ceteris paribus.
Concept of antioxidant in food

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