February 13, 2021

Antioxidant activity

Any substance at low concentrations compared to that of an oxidizable substrate that significantly delays or prevents oxidation of that substrate is called as antioxidant. Antioxidants are involved in the defense mechanism of the organism against the pathologies associated to the attack of free radicals.

It inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electron or hydrogen from substances to an oxidizing agent.

When occurring in the human body, it is a cause for oxidative stress and thought to exert destructive cellular effects associated with pathophysiology of a number of diseases and health conditions, including inflammation, atherosclerosis and ageing, among others

Antioxidants play vital role in preserving the quality of food and maintaining health of human being.

Classification of antioxidant:
*Primary antioxidant
*Oxygen scavengers
*Secondary antioxidants
*Enzymatic antioxidants
*Chelating agents

Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions, when the chain reactions occur in a cell, it can cause damage or death to the cell.

The excess free radicals circulating in the body oxidize the low-density lipoproteins (LDL), making them potentially lethal; the excess free radicals can also accelerate aging processes and have been linked to other very serious pathologies, such as brain stroke, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and inhibit other oxidative reactions.

The effectiveness of antioxidants varies depending on the food and conditions of processing and storage. Antioxidants may lose their effectiveness during high temperature treatment.

Various antioxidants show substantially varying antioxidative effectiveness in different food systems due to different molecular structure. The antioxidants should not impart any off-flavor and off color. It should be able to get conveniently incorporated to food or food systems and should be stable at pH of the food systems and during food processing.

Fruit juices, beverages and hot drinks contain high amounts of antioxidants, like polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin E, Maillard reaction products, β-carotene, and lycopene. The consumption of fruit juices, beverages and hot drinks was found to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by degenerative diseases.

Natural antioxidants are extracted, usually in a mixture of several compounds, from variable sources. The composition of the mixture containing active substance(s) and other compounds, which may be inactive or possessing negligible activities, depend on the plant variety, agro-technology, climatic conditions, degree of ripeness, and many other factors.
Antioxidant activity

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