Total polyphenol antioxidants in whole grain cereals and snacks: Surprising sources of antioxidants in the US diet

AGFD 132

Joe A. Vinson, Kristen M Erk, Szu-Yun Wang, Joseph Z Marchegiani, and Matthew F Rose. Department of Chemistry, University of Scranton, 800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510
There is considerable epidemiological evidence which indicates whole-grain foods reduce the risk of cancer, coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality. Early researchers thought that fiber was the active ingredient for these benefits but recently polyphenol antioxidants have been hypothesized to be more important. Breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers and salty snacks constitute over 66% of whole-grain intake in the US diet. We have measured the total polyphenol concentration in commercial hot and cold breakfast cereals and snacks by using alkaline hydrolysis to liberate fiber-bound polyphenols prior to analysis by Folin and/or FRAP using catechin as a standard. Whole-grain cold cereals have significantly more antioxidants than processed grain types. The order of antioxidants in whole-grain cold cereals is wheat > corn > oats > rice. Among the salty snacks, popcorn has the most antioxidants per gram. Whole grains provide a significant 10% of daily per capita polyphenol intake in the US diet.
 

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