Japanese researchers develop technology for rapid testing of food antioxidants

JAPAN – Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan have developed a new technology that can quickly and easily measure the quantity of antioxidants present in a food.

According to a report by Food Ingredients First, the new technology has an electrochemical system that uses a gel form bicontinuous microemulsion and integrates it with sheet electrodes to simplify the measurement process.

Kumamoto’s technology can be applied in quality control in the production, manufacturing and sale of food products, such as meat, fish, vegetable and fruits.

This system significantly simplifies the conventional method and can easily be used by anyone anywhere, according to the researchers.

“Our system allows us to analyze a sample in less than a minute everywhere and can be used used to monitor the deterioration of food due to oxidation,” says Professor Masashi Kunitake, who led the research group.

Kunitake explained that unlike in conventional evaluation methods require complex separation, extraction and colorimetric analysis, the new technology uses Cross-sections of solid foods.

This makes it easier to measure anti-oxidants even fat-soluble antioxidants in colourful or cloudy food samples which are difficult to measure using the conventional methods.

The innovation is particularly important at a time when consumers are purchasing more functional foods to maintain a healthy diet.

Antioxidants inhibit the generation of highly reactive oxygen species, which can lead to arteriosclerosis, cancer and decreased immune function.

Its thus important to provide adequate information about capacities of different foods in order to enable consumers make informed decisions during purchases.

“If the analysis of food products becomes more accessible to producers and consumers, it could give added value to food products, help find the best cultivation conditions for production, and eventually become a criterion for judging whether food products are both tasty and safe to eat,” concludes Kunitake.

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