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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 369479, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/369479
Review Article

Natural Antioxidant Activity of Commonly Consumed Plant Foods in India: Effect of Domestic Processing

1Endocrinology and Metabolism Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Jamai-Osmania Post Office, Tarnaka, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500007, India
2Statistical Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Jamai-Osmania Post Office, Tarnaka, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500007, India

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 14 May 2013

Academic Editor: Mahesh Thirunavukkarasu

Copyright © 2013 D. Sreeramulu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Phytochemicals protect against oxidative stress which in turn helps in maintaining the balance between oxidants and antioxidants. In recent times natural antioxidants are gaining considerable interest among nutritionists, food manufacturers, and consumers because of their perceived safety, potential therapeutic value, and long shelf life. Plant foods are known to protect against degenerative diseases and ageing due to their antioxidant activity (AOA) attributed to their high polyphenolic content (PC). Data on AOA and PC of Indian plant foods is scanty. Therefore we have determined the antioxidant activity in 107 commonly consumed Indian plant foods and assessed their relation to their PC. Antioxidant activity is presented as the range of values for each of the food groups. The foods studied had good amounts of PC and AOA although they belonged to different food groups. Interestingly, significant correlation was observed between AOA (DPPH and FRAP) and PC in most of the foods, corroborating the literature that polyphenols are potent antioxidants and that they may be important contributors to the AOA of the plant foods. We have also observed that common domestic methods of processing may not affect the PC and AOA of the foods studied in general. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first results of the kind in commonly consumed Indian plant foods.