Antioxidant and Vitamin C contents of fruit juices and drinks
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Fruit juice is considered be a rich source of vitamins and minerals (O’Neil et al., 2012). It has been viewed as a way to consume vitamins and minerals without consuming fruit (Clemens et al., 2015). Fruit juice has also been thought to have positive effects on cardiovascular health and obesity, these claims have been found to have been unsubstantiated due to conflicting results from different studies. Alternatively fruit juice has been linked to childhood obesity (Wojcicki and Heyman, 2012). The main reason for linking fruit juice to improving cardiovascular health is the antioxidant content of fruit juice. Free radicals are created during metabolism and are believed to be the cause of cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants are thought to prevent the oxidation of free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and therefore prevent cardiovascular disease. This suggestion has been disproved in recent years as discussed by Hollman et al. 2011 as has the hypothesis that antioxidants prevent cancer with the same mechanism (Navdeep et al., 2011). The current perception of fruit juices are that they are a source of nutrition rather than ‘superfoods’ that cure diseases. This is likely to be because there are currently no officially authorised nutrient claims regarding antioxidants in the UK. Additionally recent fruit juice consumption in the UK has dropped due to concerns over its high sugar content (Mintel, 2016). In the UK a fruit juice drink is different to a fruit juice. A fruit juice is usually 100% fruit juice whereas a fruit juice drink contains extra ingredients such as flavourings and colourings. Vitamin C is also added as an additional ingredient. It is unknown if on average, a fruit juice drink contains more or less vitamin C and antioxidants than fruit juice.
BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology
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