Monday, January 29, 2007

Flavonoids in U. S. Foods

Most Comprehensive-Ever Survey of Flavonoids in U. S. Foods
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Scientists studying the health benefits of flavonoids — those disease-preventing compounds in fruits, vegetables, wine, dark chocolate and other foods — finally have comprehensive data on flavonoid levels in foods consumers buy in the United States. The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s James M. Harnly and colleagues are unveiling new flavonoid data collected from the first systematic sampling of foods designed specifically to characterize flavonoids. The report appeared in the Jan. 10 issue of the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

The report notes that interest in the flavonoid content of foods dates to the early 1980s. Since then, two databases had been compiled on levels of these compounds in common foods; the first based on a critical evaluation of flavonoid data in the literature and the second based on the analysis of proanthocyanidins found in selected foods. The reported data have been combined with the literature database.

For the latest report, researchers determined levels of 20 flavonoids in more than 60 fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts collected at two different times of the year from commercial markets in four regions of the United States. Researchers analyzed an average of five samples for each food. Complete results are included in the article. They found flavonoid levels that compared well with the literature database, but the catechins were generally lower in fruits and nuts than the figures reported in the proanthocyanidin database. The new study found a high variability in the flavonoid content of food samples.

"Flavonoid Content of U. S. Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts"


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