Talk:Oxygen radical absorbance capacity

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Highest ORAC food?[edit]

According to Dr. Alex Schauss, the ACAI berry has the highest ORAC on a gram to gram basis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I believe the Goji berry is now the berry with the highest ORAC.

I think the person that posted above me is correct. Costco sells Pacific Tropical Dried GojiBerries in a package and they read 25,000 ORAC units.

Actually, I think you'll find the Coffee Berry has the highest ORAC score. I'll try and get some exact figures and post them here. I would also presume that an organic fruit would have a higher ORAC score over a conventional one --0s1r1s (talk) 08:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

The coffeeberry website says it has equivalent ORAC in one gram to 33 grams of blueberries[2]. Using the new 2007 ORAC data for blueberries (6552 ORAC units per 100 g)[3], this means that 100 g of coffeeberry would have an ORAC of (6552/3 = 2184 x 100) 218,400 TE per 100 grams, or about the same level as dried oregano (2007 USDA data). Higher ORAC scores exist for ground clove, cinnamon and sumac bran (2007 USDA data).
A factor missed in the discussion of comparing ORAC for different food sources is how the sample was prepared and therefore how the phenolics (or other antioxidant phytochemicals) were preserved. Especially pertinent is that acai -- regarded by most as the highest ORAC plant food known (excepting spices) -- was rapidly freeze-dried[4], a method effectively capturing the raw state. Most fruits usually compared to acai in ORAC scores (always lower) were not prepared by freeze-drying, and so their antioxidant constituents would have degraded in variable ways from the time of harvest to when the sample was analyzed for ORAC. --Paul144 (talk) 12:18, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I call bullshit on Goji marketing.. I too have found them talking about ORAC values of 23 000 etc, but where is the evidence. I have googled the USDA website extensively and gone through the PDF. There is NO EVIDENCE that Goji was in fact tested. Wamatt (talk) 13:12, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Why are blueberries located in both high and moderate ORAC, is this trying to differentiate between wild and cultivated?

The highest rated ORAC food is a misleading discussion, at least relative to oxidative stress in living tissue. ORAC ratings in food don't translate into any more antioxidant ability 'in vivo' from one to another. Food itself is converted into free radicals in the body. Food in a petri-dish is not metabolized, neither does it cross any form of an acid stomach barrier. Furthermore, free radical production is inter-cellular, and the ORAC rating doesn't take this into consideration. Also, the real antioxidant activity is not external, its internal through enzymes our bodies product, which if measured 'in vitro' as ORAC is done would be off the scale, because this activity is catalytic, not chemical.

Chaga has WAY higher ORAC values than most of this stuff. Maybe Sanghwang as well, however I can't find an ORAC value for it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by PublicAdvocate (talkcontribs) 15:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


The paper referenced in the entry by ”Schauss et al. published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” is from AIMBR Life Sciences ( (as noted in the abstract)[1], which is a products consulting company. At the time of this writing 2007-04-24, the first question in their FAQ ( is "How Can a Company Build a Dossier of Credible Scientific Information about Its Product?" The only subject of the paper referenced is OptiAcaiTM which is a trademarked product name. This paper, Schauss, and OptiAcai are also linked to the Multi-level marketing (MLM) company MonaVie. The paper's author, Dr. Alex Schauss, is also author of a published book :Açai (Euterpe oleracea): The Nutritional and Antioxidant-Rich Amazonian Palm Tree Fruit by Dr. Alex Schauss. A google search of the title shows this book references by many sites that are part of the MonaVie MLM business. It is not available by more reputable distributors such as Rlaney 22:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Aronia (chokeberry) not included in table[edit]

The value for Aronia melanocarpa (chokeberry)has not been included in the chart, which according to, has "one of the highest values yet recorded, of 16,100 micromoles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004)." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amzo19 (talkcontribs) 22:04, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

ORAC 2007 Updated Numbers (Chocolate at 105160 Max TE Total-ORAC umol TE/100 g) ![edit]

Here are links to the latest ORAC 07 pages and pdf files (from the people who I think originally broke the news about blueberry extract and memory/motor skills preservation).
These seem to show that ORAC chocolate is underestimated on the page we're discussing probably due to the dated entries:

There are some very high total-ORAC numbers on the Max. end for things like cacao-based foods, herbs and spices.

for ex:

Total-ORAC umol TE/100 g:

Baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares 105160
Cinnamon, ground, 256536
Sorghum, bran, hi-tannin, 240000
Sumac, bran, raw, 312400
(Sumac is a common condiment in Persian foods and available at big markets like "Jon's" in Los Angeles, etc.)

I'm a fan of chopping up dried wild blueberries with Sharffen-Berger's 99% dark chocolate (or other similar quality "baking" chocolates) on a cutting board or in a food-processor and then, depending on the ambient temperature, hand-forming bon-bons or even melting-tempering the stuff.

Of course, dried blueberries by weight are some of the highest ORAC fruit available Some research notes that drying lowers the anthocyanins but not the polyphenols and that the ORAC value doesn't suffer in the process (though the anthocyanins are thought to "to significantly suppress the growth of cultured tumour cells"...). "The Change of Total Anthocyanins in Blueberries and Their Antioxidant Effect After Drying and Freezing"(J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004; 2004(5): 248–252. doi: 10.1155/S1110724304406123.)

-- Tique (talk) 17:19, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't 100 Grams of cinnamon per serving seem a bit high?[edit]

It seems like the number should be downgraded to a teaspoon or so to better reflect a reasonable serving size. Squibm (talk) 15:16, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello Squibm -- the issue should not be a serving size since a lab analysis doesn't take that into account. A standard sample size in the lab is usually one gram but that may not yield a whole number or is too small a sample to be realistic for a fruit serving, so usually a larger standard measure is used like 100 g.
It shouldn't matter as long as all foods are standardized to the same sample size. It could be 100 g, one g or one kg. The ORAC data can still be compared, food by food, as long as all are expressed by the same weight.
A more interesting question for me is to ask why Mother Nature created spice plants with such dense and intense contents of pigment phenolics. In nature, polyphenols serve properties that are either (or both) defensive (against sun, uv irradition, harsh climate factors, pests or diseases) and/or attractant (for foragers to easily find and eat the plant then spread seeds). Why in nature do spice plants need such intense protection or attraction? Here's an example for a fruit with the highest known ORAC, acai --
Best regards, --Paul144 (talk) 16:05, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Have amended to a reasonable serving size, still quite generous I would say. (talk) 18:41, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It would make sense to have two columns - per gram and per serving size to enable comparison. For example prunes will have a much higher value per gram than plums but according to the chart if I eat two plums I have consumed a greater ORAC value of antioxidants than if eat half a cup of plums. This differenc is used by advertisers to produce misleading advertising. Also are we talking US or UK cups etc? (talk) 18:46, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Comparing Apples and Oranges ( or Plums!)[edit]

1 apple weighs 200 gms whereas 1 plum might weigh max 50 gm. So can we use 100gms as the unit or we should also mention the weight alongside the serving size in a separate column.

J mareeswaran (talk) 18:36, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Scientific comparisons are valid only when based on units per equal weight so each food of interest should be converted to either per gram or 100 gram sample. Since volumes consumed per serving will vary from one individual or one reference to the next, serving size is an awkward unit for comparisons.
This otherwise interesting and valuable analysis[2] of antioxidant food values for different superfruit juices by an Australian consumer group is flawed because the volume (weight) units of each juice product vs. a whole apple of different weight are not standardized to the same weight. --Paul144 (talk) 19:22, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Schauss A, Wu X, Prior R, Ou B, Huang D, Owens J, Agarwal A, Jensen G, Hart A, Shanbrom E (2006). "Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai)". J. Agric. Food Chem. 54 (22): 8604–10. PMID 17061840. 
  2. ^ [1]

Removed paragraph[edit]

The range of ORAC for common fruits was around 1.40 micromoles TE per gram (watermelon) to 95 (cranberry). Lowbush blueberry (wild blueberry) was also very high at 92.6 µmol/g. For vegetables or legumes, it was 1.15 (cucumber) to 149 small red (red kidney bean); for nuts, 7.19 (cashew) to 179.4 (pecan); and for dried fruits, 23.87 (medjool dates) to 85.78 (prune). By comparison, different species of apples had ORAC values of 22.10 to 42.75 micromoles TE per gram, white potato was under 11, peanut was 31.66 and tomato about 4.00 Spices (clove, cinnamon) showed the highest ORAC values (>2500, converted to micromoles TE per gram). Cocoa has a high ORAC value, giving baking chocolate a value of 1032 and milk chocolate an average of 71.30.

I removed the above from the section Comparisons of ORAC values since it both lacks information about where it's coming from and also, quite paradoxically following a paragraph outlining the importance of indicating whether the measurements have been made of dry or wet sample or per serving size, no such information is given. __meco (talk) 12:54, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Listed Cinnamon ORAC value in 1/3 teaspoon is incorrect[edit]

The edited listing for Cinnamon in the table from 100g to "1/3 teaspoon" and the associated ORAC value of 61,000 is incorrect as far as I can tell. According to the 2007 ORAC report the total ORAC value in umol TE/100 g of Cinnamon is 267536. One teaspoon of ground Cinnamon is roughly equivalent to 2.6g, therefore unless I'm mistaken, the ORAC value for one teaspoon of Cinnamon is 6955.936 (~6956 rounded up). I am editing the serving size and ORAC value accordingly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blacksun1942 (talkcontribs) 12:31, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Removing ORAC Table[edit]

"Recently the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) removed the USDA ORAC Database for Selected Foods from the NDL website due to mounting evidence that the values indicating antioxidant capacity have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure the argument is so one sided. Perhaps the argument has evolved since the USDA retracted their table in May. I added the following:

Not all have been so unilaterally dismissive. Former ARS-USDA scientist and long-time ORAC researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., sent a four-page letter in response to the removal of the USDA database, writing that it had utility when taken in the epidemiological context of disease endpoints. Prior also disagreed that there was no evidence that the beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich foods can be attributed to the antioxidant properties of these foods. He pointed to recent research using the ORAC database that found lower risks for endometrial cancer in those consuming the highest amount of phenolics.[1] Alternative measurements include the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent, and the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay.</blockquot> Ramwithaxe talk 06:26, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

One thing that confuses me about the ORAC dismissal. The references suggest that anti-oxidant activity is predominantly related to urea. However, I see other sources where urea is cited as a valid free radical scavenger. I have not researched the issue extensively, but suspect there is a deeper principal here. Thoughts? Ramwithaxe talk 19:18, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

H-ORAC & L-ORAC[edit]

Hello. You are missing information about "H-ORAC" and "L-ORAC" ("hydrophilic-ORAC" and "lipophilic-ORAC", respectively). You may find this link useful: http://www -- (talk) 14:38, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. (16 Dec 2012). "ORAC no more!". Huffington Post.  Text "" ignored (help);