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20 April 2007
Alcohol Cranks Up Antioxidant Levels In Fruit

Fruits like strawberries are a good source of antioxidants, but serving them in alcohol appears to make them even healthier, say US and Thai researchers. While exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage, they discovered that treating the berries with alcohol led to an increase in antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging activity within the fruit. Daiquiris may become a new health drink based on the findings, reported in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Strawberries and other colored berries contain compounds known as polyphenols and anthocyanins. These compounds have been linked to the prevention of diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. They work by helping to mop up damaging free-radicals produced naturally by a person's metabolism.

The researchers, from Kasetsart University in Thailand and the United States Department of Agriculture, tested the berries with ethanol and found that the treatment improved the physiology of the fruit as measured by several different laboratory tests for antioxidant activity.

Women who aren't keen on strawberry daiquiris might like to know that the scientists found similar results with blackberries, meaning that a blackberry-crowned champagne cocktail might achieve the same effect.

Related:
Coffee - America's Favorite Source Of Antioxidants
An Apple A Day Could Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Source: Society of Chemical Industry


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