(Health) Fruits: Capturing the Essence of Fruits
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#1: (Health) Fruits: Capturing the Essence of Fruits Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:31 pm

Science captures the essence of fruit
10 Jul 2006
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology

Biotechnology opens new opportunities for flavor and fragrance industry
Auckland, New Zealand, 10 July 2006 – New research designed to build scientific understanding of fruit genes could revolutionise the way foods, cosmetics and perfumes are created.

Researchers at New Zealand-based life sciences company HortResearch say they have fine-tuned the science of gene discovery to such a degree that they can now accurately determine which genes create the individual flavours and fragrances found in fruits and flowers.

Combined with traditional biofermentation techniques – the same process that helps bread rise or grape juice to become wine - this means that it should be possible for the natural tastes and aromas of fruit to be recreated.

According to HortResearch Industrial Biotechnology scientist Dr Richard Newcomb, that's exciting news for the world's food, perfume and cosmetic producers, who have for years sought synthetic solutions to mimic nature's flavours and fragrances in products ranging from ice cream to shampoo.

"While manufacturers have largely been successful in copying natural tastes and scents, they generally do so either through a chemical synthesis process or extraction from harvested raw ingredients.

"Neither approach is ideal. Chemical synthesis requires heat and pressure, so is reliant on increasingly expensive and polluting fossil fuels for energy. What's more, chemical synthesis can never truly recreate nature; the flavour or fragrance will typically be slightly different to that found naturally in fruits and flowers.

"Extraction is expensive and produces only limited quantities of product, reducing the number of commercially viable options for the extract," says Dr Newcomb.

Biofermentation however can produce large amounts of a desired compound at a low cost and with little environmental impact. And because biofermentation uses the actual genes that plants use in the wild, the resulting flavour or fragrance compound has exactly the same molecular make-up. It is, as the scientists say; "Nature Identical".

While the possibility of 'fermenting' genes to produce compounds has been well understood for many years, science has generally lagged behind in identifying which genes are needed to produce the desired outcome. HortResearch has now overcome this issue by using research initially intended to speed up the process of fruit breeding, says Dr Newcomb.

"Through decades of fruit breeding research HortResearch has developed extensive fruit gene and compound databases. Now we have developed techniques that help determine which genes create each compound, and how those compounds combine to create a flavour or fragrance. It's a complicated and time-consuming process – some fruit flavours for example may be comprised of over thirty different compounds, each in a precise volume.

"Much of this information is fed back into the breeding programme, allowing naturally-bred new fruit varieties with desired traits to be quickly recognised amongst young breeding populations that frequently number in the tens of thousands.

"However, it is also possible for us to isolate genes that produce desirable flavour and fragrance compounds for use in industrial biotechnology applications."

HortResearch has proven the bioproduction concept can be used to produce fruit flavours and fragrances by perfectly recreating a fruit compound called alpha-farnesene, responsible for the distinctive aroma of green apples.

The company has filed international patent applications on the use of the applicable gene in creating the fragrance, and for another plant gene responsible for making a compound that smells like the heady scent of red roses.

Dr Newcomb says HortResearch scientists are continuing to seek new gene/compound combinations which they believe will find ready demand in the marketplace.

"Alongside colour, flavour and fragrance rank as some of the most important guides to the natural world. The ability for manufacturers to recreate them exactly as they occur in nature will open new opportunities for high-quality, novel products and foods."

While many biofermented compounds will undoubtedly end up in non-food consumer products such as make-up or household cleaners, Dr Newcomb is confident they will also play a role in the expanding health food market.

"Researchers are finding ever greater numbers of foods and food compounds that can enhance human heath and wellbeing. The trouble is, they don't always taste very good – and until they do it will be difficult to encourage consumers to make them part of their regular diet," he says.

"Adding synthetic flavours destroys the credibility of any health food, so natural flavours produced through bioproduction would be a huge advantage to the health industry."


Dr Newcomb has been invited to present details of HortResearch's flavour and fragrance science programme to delegates at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology which is being held in Toronto, Canada from July 11-14.

Biotechnology at HortResearch

HortResearch is a New Zealand-based research & development company using biotechnology to develop innovative solutions in the fields of human health and performance, biosensors, insect controls, new fruit varieties and fruit-derived industrial technologies.

The company has earned considerable acclaim as the name behind development of numerous successful fruit cultivars including ENZA JAZZTM brand apples and the world's first intelligent fruit labelling system, ripeSenseTM now market by RIPESENSE Limited.

HortResearch has one of the world's largest fruit gene databases - a significant resource for the development of innovative fruit and fruit-derived products with novel flavour and health functionality.

We have shared 150,000 apple gene sequences with researchers worldwide, accelerating research progress in plant biotechnology. Meanwhile, in-house gene discovery initiatives underpin our own fruit-breeding programme, which is deploying markers to develop the next series of novel fruit varieties.

Utilising our fruit gene and compound database we are producing natural flavour and fragrance compounds and working on enzymes involved in the synthesis and breakdown of Vitamin C, sugars and starch.

Specialised technical capabilities in biosensor research also allow HortResearch to develop fast, accurate and convenient detection and measurement technologies for use in biological systems.

A key target of this research is the development of biomeasurement technologies that enable provision of real-time data on key biomarkers within the human body. From an initial focus on improving the performance of elite athletes, HortResearch is expanding into human health applications, as well as food safety and quality.


Dr Newcomb will address the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Toronto, Canada on Friday July 14th 2006 at 10.15am. His presentation is titled: 'The discovery of enzymes from fruit for flavour and fragrance bioproduction'.

Persons wishing to contact Dr Newcomb during the Congress can do so by visiting the HortResearch table exhibit at H-25 Harbour Ballroom Foyer.

Media contact
Roger Bourne
Senior Communications Advisor
Private Bag 92 169
Mt Albert, Auckland
New Zealand
Phone +64 9 815 4200 ext 7057
Mobile +64 27 207 1712

To receive regular updates on areas of our research that interest you please register on our website http://www.hortresearch.co.nz/index/page/557

For HortResearch media release updates via RSS please visit http://www.hortresearch.co.nz/index/page/558


Questions to explore further this topic:

What are fruits?


Fruits of Warm Climates by
Julia F. Morton


Mediterranean Fruits by
Joan Tous* and Louise Ferguson


Asian fruits and vegetables


Philippine fruits




Images of fruits


Fruits and Vegetables: Eating Your Way to 5 A Day


Dole's virtual classroom


A reference center for fruits and vegetables


How to buy fresh fruits


Fruits and Vegetables WebQuest


Drying Fruits


Chemistry of flavor and fragrance


An Interview with Perfumer Christopher Laudamiel


Ten Amazing Fruits

Ten Amazing Fruits tells you the fairytale story about Green Land, the paradise planet of huge waterfalls, vast valleys and fields. The planet was a home to wonderful fruit that looked like people. Their happy living would last forever if it hadn’t been for the unexpected drought that cast a magic spell on them. Amazing fruit lost their ability to seem speak, smile and became ordinary. However, there is still a chance for them to become happy again. Break the spell and return them to happy paradise!




#2: 100 percent juices found as beneficial to health as fruits a Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:15 am
Kellen Communications
29 January 2007

100 percent juices found as beneficial to health as fruits and vegetables

When it comes to some of today’s health issues, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices do help reduce risk factors related to certain diseases.

This conclusion is the result of a European study designed to question traditional thinking that 100 percent juices play a less significant role in reducing risk for both cancer and cardiovascular disease than whole fruits and vegetables.

Juices are comparable in their ability to reduce risk compared to their whole fruit/vegetable counterparts say several researchers in the United Kingdom who conducted the literature review. The researchers analyzed a variety of studies that looked at risk reduction attributed to the effects of both fiber and antioxidants. As a result, they determined that the positive impact fruits and vegetables offer come not from just the fiber but also from antioxidants which are present in both juice and the whole fruit and vegetables.

This 2006 review of the literature states, “When considering cancer and coronary heart disease prevention, there is no evidence that pure fruit and vegetable juices are less beneficial than whole fruit and vegetables.” The researchers add that the positioning of juices as being nutritionally inferior to whole fruits and vegetables in relationship to chronic disease development is “unjustified” and that policies which suggest otherwise about fruit and vegetable juices should be re-examined.

The researchers who authored the paper “Can pure fruit and vegetable juices protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, too? A review of the evidence” suggest that more studies in certain area are needed to bolster their findings. The study was published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition (2006).

“Although this independent review of the literature is not designed to focus on any particular 100 percent juice, it does go a long way in demonstrating that fruit and vegetable juices do play an important role in reducing the risk of various diseases, especially cancer and cardiovascular heart disease,” says Sue Taylor, RD, with the Juice Products Association, a non-profit organization not associated with this research. She adds that appropriate amounts of juices should be included in the diet of both children and adults, following guidelines established by leading health authorities.

Taylor also points to a large epidemiological study, published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicine, which found that consumption of a variety of 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices was associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, that study found that individuals who drank three or more servings of fruit and vegetable juices per week had a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank juice less than once per week.


#3: Apple's benefits reach into the womb, found to be protective Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:37 pm
Kellen Communications

Apple's benefits reach into the womb, found to be protective against childhood asthma

WASHINGTON (April 5, 2007) -- Eating apples while pregnant may give new meaning to an apple a day keeping the doctor away. Compelling new research has concluded that mothers who eat apples during pregnancy may protect their children from developing asthma later in life. The study was published in Thorax online.

This unique longitudinal study tracked dietary intake by nearly 2000 pregnant women, then examined the effects of the maternal diet on airway development in more than 1200 of their children five years later. Among a wide variety of foods consumed and recorded by the pregnant women, the researchers concluded that the children of mothers who ate apples had a significantly reduced risk for the development of asthma and childhood wheezing.

This study focuses on medical evaluations for asthma and related symptoms (i.e., wheezing) when the children were five years old. As a result of the evaluations cited in this research, other than apples, there were no consistent associations found between prenatal consumption of a range of healthful foods and asthma in the 1253 children who were evaluated.

Children of mothers who ate apples during pregnancy were much less likely to exhibit symptoms of asthma (including wheezing), say the researchers who hail from institutions in The Netherlands and Scotland. These same researchers previously reported positive associations between maternal consumption of vitamins A, E, D and zinc with reduced risk of asthma, wheeze and eczema in children.

The only other positive association found between prenatal food intake and risk reduction in the children was with fish, for which the researchers found that children of mothers who ate fish had a lowered incidence of doctor-confirmed eczema.

According to the research, "The present study suggests beneficial associations between maternal apple intake during pregnancy and wheeze and asthma at age five years." They add that their findings "suggest an apple specific effect, possibly because of its phytochemical content, such as flavonoids." The research paper cites other related studies on apples, including those which found that "intake of apples as a significant source of flavonoids and other polyphenols has been beneficially associated with asthma, bronchial hypersensitivity, and lung function in adults."

In 2004, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that nine million U.S. children have been diagnosed with asthma at one point in their lives and four million children suffered from asthma attacks that year. Others suffer from "hidden asthma" – undetected or undiagnosed asthma, according the American Lung Association. The cost of this disease is great – statistics show asthma to be the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15 and is among the leading causes of school absenteeism.

Maternal food consumption during pregnancy and asthma, respiratory and atopic symptoms in 5-year-old children.

#4: Scientists isolate anti-cancer compounds from apple peel Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 8:41 pm
Scientists isolate anti-cancer compounds from apple peel
21 May 2007
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Doctor Mom’s admonition, "Don’t peel your apple," is getting new scientific support from scientists in New York, who are reporting isolation of chemical compounds from apple peel that may be involved in the apple’s beneficial health effects. Their report is scheduled for publication in the May 30 issue of ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the study, Rui Hai Liu and Xiangjiu He point out that apple consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic health problems such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Traditional advice on eating apple peel was based mainly on its fiber content, with peel packing about 75 percent of the dietary fiber in an apple. More recently, however, scientists have shown that the peel also contains most of the beneficial phytochemicals believed to be responsible for the apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away effect.

Until now, however, scientists had not identified the specific phytochemicals responsible for apple’s anti-cancer effects. Xiangjiu He and Liu processed 231 pounds of Red Delicious apples and extracted phytochemicals from about 24 pounds of peel. They screened the compounds for anti-cancer effects in laboratory cultures of human liver, breast, and colon cancer cells. In doing so, they identified a group of compounds with "potent" anti-cancer effects.

"Triterpenoids isolated from Apple Peels Have Potent Antiproliferative Activity and May be Partially Responsible for Apple’s Anticancer Activity"



#5: Dragon fruit has high antioxidant properties, says Filipino Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:23 am
Dragon fruit has high antioxidant properties, says Filipino scientist

Thursday, May 31, 2007
Helen Flores

A Filipino scientist is promoting the use of dragon fruit as an ingredient in functional foods, such as power drinks, because of its high antioxidant properties.

Dr. Eufemio Barcelon, a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Balik Scientist Awardee (1996 to 1998) who is based in Australia, said the dragon fruit can be used in functional foods, particularly sports drinks, power drinks and pineapple mix.

Functional foods offer additional health benefits such as food fortification, probiotics, antioxidant properties, vitamins, folates as well as special performance in drinks.

Barcelon said the use of dragon fruit will also increase the income of local farmers and harness the full potential of land planted to dragon fruit in the provinces.

He said dragon fruit is high in fiber, rich in vitamin C, and contains antioxidant properties.

Barcelon said a Malaysian company has discovered that dragon fruit has bioactive components, particularly enzymes, in its flowers and leaves, which could be used in producing perfumes as well as other personal care products.

Barcelon, however, lamented that although dragon fruit is commonly grown in Cavite, Bataan and Davao, among other places, farmers there do not get to utilize its full potential as more than 40 tons of rejected dragon fruits are shipped back to them annually due to insect damage.

He said research and development on dragon fruit products would be a big boost to the agriculture and industry sectors as the country would not need to import the fruit.

Barcelon said research on postharvest pest and value-added technologies is also being proposed by the Cavite State University (CvSU).

“Innovation is the key to survive in the food sector,” he said.

Barcelon is proposing to conduct research and product development on innovative and functional foods, training, demonstration, and product promotion.

Barcelon said a P100,000-grant from the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) will jumpstart R&D on dragon fruit to be conducted by the CvSU.

The project aims to create products and processes, which would turn dragon fruit into jams, jellies, puree and flavored drinks. The grant also includes packaging and labeling of the products.

Barcelon is a research scientist of Manildra Group, a food company based in Melbourne, Australia.

His expertise includes food innovation, food packaging, design and labeling, and non-destructive test of the fruit using X-ray computed tomography.

Japan is the leading producer of functional foods, followed by European countries.

#6: POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice may improve erectile dy Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:33 am
POM Wonderful
2 July 2007

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice may improve erectile dysfunction

Research published in the International Journal of Impotence Research finds drinking 8 ounces of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily may help the management erectile dysfunction
LOS ANGELES (June 27 - 2007) – According to a pilot study released in the International Journal of Impotence Research (http://www.nature.com/ijir), POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice was found to have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction (ED), a disorder that affects 1 in 10 men worldwide and 10 to 30 million men in the United States alone.1, 2 ED can be caused by several factors, including arterial plaque, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage, endocrine imbalance or depression. Ultimately, ED is a condition that affects the blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation.

This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study examined the efficacy of pomegranate juice versus placebo in improving erections in 61 male subjects. To qualify, participants had to experience mild to moderate ED for at least 3 months; be in a stable, monogamous relationship with a consenting female partner; and be willing to attempt sexual intercourse on at least one occasion per week during each study period.

Mild ED is defined as the mildly decreased ability to get and keep an erection, while moderate ED is the moderately decreased ability to get and keep an erection. The majority of men with ED have moderate ED.

For the first four weeks of the study, the subjects were assigned to drink either 8 oz. of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice or 8 oz. of placebo beverage daily with their evening meal or shortly after. After a two-week washout period during which the subjects did not consume any study beverage nor utilize any ED treatment, they were assigned to drink 8 oz. of the opposite study beverage every evening for another four weeks. At the end of each four week period, efficacy was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Global Assessment Questionnaires (GAQ). The IIEF is a validated questionnaire that has been demonstrated to correlate with ED intensity. The GAQ elicits the patient’s self-evaluation of the study beverages’ effect on erectile activity.

Forty seven percent of the subjects reported that their erections improved with POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, while only 32% reported improved erections with the placebo (p=0.058). These results compare favorably to a recent 24-week study using a PDE5 inhibitor (such as Cialis), in which roughly 73% of subjects reported a benefit from the PDE5 inhibitor and 26% reported a “placebo effect” (i.e. experiencing improvement while on the placebo).3

Although the study did not achieve overall statistical significance, the authors conclude that additional studies with more patients and longer treatment periods may in fact reach statistical significance. The strong directional results of this pilot study are encouraging because almost half of the test subjects experienced a benefit simply by adding pomegranate juice to their daily diet, without the use of ED drugs.

Researchers believe that the results might be due to the potent antioxidant content of pomegranate juice, which can prevent free radical molecules from disrupting proper circulatory function. In several previously published medical studies, pomegranate juice has been shown to enhance blood flow and to slow or reverse arterial plaque growth.4, 5, 6 Because an erection requires significant blood flow, these potent pomegranate antioxidants may provide benefit by mitigating arterial plaque and promoting blood vessel dilation.

According to study co-author Harin Padma-Nathan, MD, FACS, FRCS, Clinical Professor of Urology at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, “These findings are very encouraging as they suggest there is a non-invasive, non-drug way to potentially alleviate this quality of life issue that affects so many men. For men with ED, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Drinking pomegranate juice daily could be an important addition to the diet in the management of this condition.”

About POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful is the largest producer of California Wonderful pomegranates and the company exclusively grows and sells this variety. POM Wonderful’s pomegranates grow in central California, in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. Fresh pomegranates are in season from October through January and November is National Pomegranate Month.

The company also uses its fresh pomegranates to make its delicious, all-natural, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and POMx, a highly-concentrated blend of all-natural polyphenol antioxidants harnessed from the pomegranate by a patent-pending process. POMx is found exclusively in POM Tea, POMx Pills and POMx Liquid.

POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and POM Tea are available year-round at retail and are found in the refrigerated section of supermarkets nationwide. POMx Pills and POMx Liquid are available at http://www.pompills.com
To learn more, visit http://www.pomwonderful.com


1 Furlow WL. Prevalence of impotence in the United States. Med Aspects Hum Sex 1985, 19: 13-16.

2 Kaiser FE. Erectile dysfunction in the aging man. Med Clin North Am 1999; 83: 1267-1278.

3 Rajfer J, Aliotta PJ, Steidle CP, Fitch III WP, Zhao Y, and Yu A. Tadalafil dosed once a day in men with erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the US. International Journal of Impotence Research 2007, 19: 95-103.

4 Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D, de Nigris F, Napoli C. Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide 2006; 15: 93–102.

5 Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, and Liker H. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years with patients with carotoid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition, 2004, 23: 423-433.

6 Summer MD, Elliot-Eller M, Weidner G, Daubenmier JJ, Chew MH, Marlin R, Raisin CJ and Ornish, D. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology 2005, 96: 810-814.

#7: Flavonoids in Orange Juice Make It a Healthy Drink, Despite Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:41 am
Flavonoids in Orange Juice Make It a Healthy Drink, Despite the Sugar
University at Buffalo


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

The study appeared in the June 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

Flavonoids suppress destructive oxygen free radicals -- also known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS. An overabundance of free radicals can damage all components of the cell, including proteins, fats and DNA, contributing to the development of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes.

"Many major diseases are associated with oxidative stress and inflammation in the arterial wall, so the search for foods that are least likely to cause these conditions must be pursued," said Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York and senior author on the study.

"Our previous work has shown that 300 calories of glucose induces ROS and other proinflammatory responses," said Dandona, who is Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"We hypothesized that 300 calories-worth of orange juice or of fructose would induce less oxidative stress and inflammation than caused by the same amount of calories from glucose."

The resulting study involved 32 healthy participants between the ages of 20 and 40, who were of normal weight, with a body mass index of 20-25 kg/m2. Participants were assigned randomly and evenly into four groups, who would drink the equivalent of 300 calories-worth of glucose, fructose, orange juice or saccharin-sweetened water.

Fasting blood samples were taken before the test and at 1, 2 and 3 hours after a 10-minute period to consume the drinks.

Results showed a significant increase in ROS within 2 hours in samples from the glucose group but not in those from the fructose, orange juice or water group.

"We were intrigued by the fact that there was no increase in ROS or inflammation following orange juice consumption, even though its glucose concentration was the same as in participants in the glucose group," said Dandona. "This raised the question of what in the juice was responsible for suppressing ROS generation: flavonoids and vitamin C or fructose?"

An additional round of test on the samples showed that neither fructose nor vitamin C suppressed the oxygen free radicals. However the two types of flavonoids in orange juice -- hesperetin and naringenin -- inhibited ROS generation by 52 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

"Our data are relevant to patients with diabetes," said Dandona, "because stress from ROS and inflammation are increased significantly in this population and may contribute to development of atherosclerosis. Clearly the choice of foods that either don't increase or actually decrease oxidative and inflammatory stress is important.

"The search for safe non-inflammatory foods and diets must continue," Dandona stressed, "especially since obesity, being overweight and type 2 diabetes are associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, and more than 60 percent of U.S. population is affected by these conditions."

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities. The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is one of five schools that constitute UB's Academic Health Center.

#8: Compounds that color fruits and veggies may protect against Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:32 am
Compounds that color fruits and veggies may protect against colon cancer
19 August 2007
Ohio State University

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Understanding the molecular structures of compounds that give certain fruits and vegetables their rich colors may help researchers find even more powerful cancer fighters, a new study suggests.

Evidence from laboratory experiments on rats and on human colon cancer cells also suggests that anthocyanins, the compounds that give color to most red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables appreciably slow the growth of colon cancer cells.

The findings also bring scientists a step closer to figuring out what exactly gives fruits and vegetables their cancer-fighting properties.


“It is possible to use natural, anthocyanin-based food colorants instead of synthetic dyes,” Giusti said. “Doing so still maintains the wonderful colors of foods while enhancing their health-promoting properties.”

“These foods contain many compounds, and we're just starting to figure out what they are and which ones provide the best health benefits,” said Monica Giusti, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of food science at Ohio State University.

Giusti presented the findings, which represent the collaborative efforts of Giusti and her colleagues, on August 19 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

Giusti and her colleagues found that in some cases, slight alterations to the structure of anthocyanin molecules made these compounds more potent anti-cancer agents.

In their studies on human colon cancer cells grown in laboratory dishes, the researchers tested the anti-cancer effects of anthocyanin-rich extracts from a variety of fruits and vegetables. They retrieved these anthocyanins from some relatively exotic fruits and other plants, including grapes, radishes, purple corn, chokeberries, bilberries, purple carrots and elderberries.

The plants were chosen due to their extremely deep colors, and therefore high anthocyanin content. Some of these plants are also used as a source of food coloring.

The researchers determined the amount of extract needed from each plant to cut the growth of human colon cancer cells in half. Altering pigment structures slightly by adding an extra sugar or acid molecule changed the biological activity of these extracts.

The researchers added different extracts to flasks that contained colon cancer cells. They used an analytical technique called high-performance liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry in order to determine the exact chemical structure of each compound. They used biological tests to determine the number of cancer cells left after anthocyanin treatment.

The researchers found that the amount of anthocyanin extract needed to reduce cancer cell growth by 50 percent varied among the plants. Extract derived from purple corn was the most potent, in that it took the least amount of this extract (14 micrograms per milliliter of cell growth solution) to cut cell numbers in half. Chokeberry and bilberry extracts were nearly as potent as purple corn. Radish extract proved the least potent, as it took nine times as much (131 µg/ml) of this compound to cut cell growth by 50 percent.

“All fruits and vegetables that are rich in anthocyanins have compounds that can slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, whether in experiments in laboratory dishes or inside the body,” Giusti said.

In additional laboratory studies, she and her colleagues found that anthocyanin pigments from radish and black carrots slowed the growth of cancer cells anywhere from 50 to 80 percent. But pigments from purple corn and chokeberries not only completely stopped the growth of cancer cells, but also killed roughly 20 percent of the cancer cells while having little effect on healthy cells.

In animal studies, rats induced with colon cancer cells were fed a daily diet of anthocyanin extracts either from bilberries and chokeberries, which are most often used as flavorings or to make jams and juices. The dietary addition of the anthocyanin extracts reduced signs of colon tumors by 70 and 60 percent, respectively, when compared to control rats.

Giusti says the results suggest that anthocyanins may protect against certain gastrointestinal cancers.

“Very little anthocyanin is absorbed by the bloodstream,” Giusti said. “But a large proportion travels through the gastrointestinal tract, where those tissues absorb the compound.”

In fact, other researchers at Ohio State have found that black raspberries may help reduce the growth of esophageal and colon cancers tumors.

Still, Giusti stops short of recommending one kind of fruit or vegetable over another. She and her colleagues are continuing to study how the chemical structure of anthocyanins contributes to the potential health benefits of food as well as how changes to these structures may affect the body's ability to use the compounds.

“There are more than 600 different anthocyanins found in nature,” she said. “While we know that the concentration of anthocyanins in the GI tract is ultimately affected by their chemical structures, we're just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding how the body absorbs and uses these different structures.”

She pointed out that her team is also evaluating how these pigments interact with other compounds in foods – such interactions could ultimately affect the health benefits of the food or the anthocyanin itself.

“It is possible to use natural, anthocyanin-based food colorants instead of synthetic dyes,” Giusti said. “Doing so still maintains the wonderful colors of foods while enhancing their health-promoting properties.”

This work received support from a U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Research Initiative grant.

#9: Pomegranate juice: Tart, trendy, and targeted on prostate ca Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:51 pm
Pomegranate juice: Tart, trendy, and targeted on prostate cancer cells

24 September 2007
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Researchers in California are reporting new evidence explaining pomegranate juice’s mysterious beneficial effects in fighting prostate cancer. In a study scheduled for the Sept. 19 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication, Navindra Seeram and colleagues have found that the tart, trendy beverage also uses a search-and-destroy strategy to target prostate cancer cells.

In previous research, Seeram’s group found that pomegranate juice consumption had a beneficial effect for prostate cancer patients with rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Such increases in PSA signal that the cancer is progressing, “doubling time” a key indicator of prognosis. Men whose PSA levels double in a short period are more likely to die from their cancer. Pomegranate juice increased doubling times by almost fourfold.

In the new study, they researchers discovered evidence in laboratory experiments that pomegranate works in a “seek and destroy” fashion. On consumption, ellagitannins (ET), antioxidants abundant in pomegranate juice, break down to metabolites known as urolithins. The researchers showed that the urolithins concentrate at high levels in prostate tissue after being given orally and by injection to mice with prostate cancer. They also showed that urolithins inhibited the growth of human prostate cancer cells in cell culture.

“The chemopreventive potential of pomegranate ellagitannins and localization of their bioactive metabolites in mouse prostate tissue suggest that pomegranate may play a role in prostate cancer treatment and chemoprevention,” the researchers state, recommending further clinical studies with pomegranate and prostate cancer patients.

“Pomegranate Ellagitannin-Derived Metabolites Inhibit Prostate Cancer Growth and Localize to the Mouse Prostate Gland”



#10: Fresh fruits and vegetables retain antioxidants long after p Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:41 am
Fresh fruits and vegetables retain antioxidants long after purchase
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
15 October 2007

The next time you think about throwing out those aging strawberries or very ripe grapes, consider this: Belgian scientists report that fruits and vegetables do not lose any antioxidant content in the days after purchase, even as tell-tale signs of spoilage appear. In some cases, antioxidant levels actually rise.

The study will appear in the Oct. 17 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

The life of a post-harvest fruit or vegetable is traditionally defined in terms of visual appearance and texture. While this is good for aesthetics, these benchmarks disregard flavor and nutritional quality—especially with regards to antioxidants, which are affected by genetic, technological and environmental factors. “No important studies were done to evaluate the influence of storage on antioxidant capacity,” the authors said.

To that end, Claire Kevers and colleagues obtained various produce from the Belgian market, measuring its initial antioxidant content. They then stored the fruits and vegetables at room temperature or refrigerated them at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, checking antioxidant levels at various times until the produce presented visual spoilage. The results showed that, in the days following purchase, fruits and vegetables do not lose any phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid or flavonols — a trio of chemical classes associated with antioxidant content. “Better, in some cases, an increase on the antioxidant capacity was observed in the days following their purchase, accompanied by an increase in phenolic compounds,” the researchers state.

ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “Evolution of Antioxidant Capacity during Storage of Selected Fruits and Vegetables”

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#11: Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, he Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:47 pm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
30 October 2007

Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose

Research in the FASEB Journal lays the groundwork for safe, new cancer therapy
The next cancer drug might come straight from the grocery store, according to new research published in the November 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal. In the study, French scientists describe how high and low doses of polyphenols have different effects. Most notably, they found that very high doses of antioxidant polyphenols shut down and prevent cancerous tumors by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth. Polyphenols are commonly found in red wine, fruits, vegetables, and green tea.

At relatively low doses, the French researchers found that the same polyphenols play a beneficial role for those with diseased hearts and circulatory systems by facilitating blood vessel growth. The amount of polyphenols necessary for this effect was found to be the equivalent of only one glass of red wine per day or simply sticking to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables containing polyphenols. This diet is known as the “Mediterranean Diet.” This study also adds to a growing body of research showing dose-dependent relationships for many types of commonly used compounds. For instance, research published in the October 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal shows that aspirin, through different mechanisms, also has a dose-dependent relationship for heart disease and cancer.

"When it comes to finding treatments for complex diseases, the answers are sometimes right there waiting to be discovered in unexpected places like the produce aisles and wine racks of the nearest store,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “But it takes modern science to isolate the pure compound, test it in the lab, and to go on from there to find new agents to fight disease.”

According to the authors, the amount of polyphenols necessary to obtain an anti-cancer effect is the equivalent of drinking about a bottle of red wine each day. This amount of daily alcohol consumption obviously is unhealthy, but the research suggests that polyphenols extracted from plants or red wine could be converted into a pill that is highly likely to be safe. Such a pill also would be relatively easy and inexpensive to create and deliver.

“The use of plant polyphenols as therapeutic tools presents important advantages,” said Daniel Henrion, senior author of the study, “because they have a good safety profile, a low cost and they can be obtained everywhere on the planet.”

#12: New insights into how natural antioxidants fight fat Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:50 pm
New insights into how natural antioxidants fight fat
5 November 2007
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Scientists in Taiwan are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study, scheduled for the Oct. 17 (current) issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication, focuses on healthful natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids.

In the study, Gow-Chin Yen and Chin-Lin Hsu point out that large amounts of those compounds occur in fruits, vegetables, nuts and plant-based beverages such as coffee, tea, and wine. Scientists long have known that flavonoids and phenolic acids have beneficial health effects in reducing the risk of heart attacks, cancer, obesity, and other disorders. However, there has been uncertainty about exactly how these compounds affect adipocytes, or fat cells.

The researchers studied how 15 phenolic acids and six flavonoids affected fat cells in laboratory cultures of mouse cells. Their results showed that fat cells exposed to certain antioxidants had lower levels of an enzyme that forms triglycerides and accumulated lower levels of triglycerides — fatty materials which at high levels increase the risk of heart disease. The findings suggest that these compounds could be effective in improving the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms like obesity and high blood sugar that increase the risk of heart disease, the researchers said.

“Effects of Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids on the Inhibition of Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes”

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#13: Ripe Fruit Preferred Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:22 pm
Ripe Fruit Preferred
6 November 2007

Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Chlorophyll breakdown in ripening apples and pears produces highly active antioxidants

Colorless Tetrapyrrolic Chlorophyll Catabolites in Ripening Fruit Are Effective Antioxidants

Fall, the season of colors: Leaves turn red, yellow, and brown. The disappearance of the color green and the simultaneous appearance of these other colors are also signs of ripening fruit. A team led by Bernhard Kräutler at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) has now determined that the breakdown of chlorophyll in ripening apples and pears produces the same decomposition products as those in brightly colored leaves. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these colorless decomposition products, called nonfluorescing chlorophyll catabolytes (NCC), are highly active antioxidants—making them potentially very healthy.

The beautifully colored leaves of fall are a sign of leaf senescence, the programmed cell death in plants. This process causes the disappearance of chlorophyll, which is what gives leaves their green color. For a long time, no one really knew just what happens to the chlorophyll in this process. In recent years, Kräutler and his team, working with the Zurich botanists Philippe Matile and Stefan Hörtensteiner, have been able to identify the first decomposition products: colorless, polar NCCs that contain four pyrrole rings—like chlorophyll and heme.

Now the Innsbruck researchers have examined the peels of apples and pears. Unripe fruits are green because of their chlorphyll. In ripe fruits, NCCs have replaced the chlorophyll, especially in the peel and the flesh immediately below it. These catabolytes are the same for apples and pears, and are also the same as those found in the leaves of the fruit trees. “There is clearly one biochemical pathway for chlorophyll decomposition in leaf senescence and fruit ripening,” concludes Kräutler.

When chlorophyll is released from its protein complexes in the decomposition process, it has a phototoxic effect: When irradiated with light, it absorbs energy and can transfer it to other substances. For example, it can transform oxygen into a highly reactive, destructive form. As the researchers were able to demonstrate, the NCCs have an opposite effect: They are powerful antioxidants and can thus play an important physiological role for the plant. It then became apparent that NCCs are components of the diets of humans and other higher animals, and that they could thus also play a role in their systems. Other previously identified important antioxidants in the peels of fruits include the flavonoids. Thus, the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” seems to be true, according to Kräutler.

#14: A “fingerprint” for fruit juices Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:16 pm
A “fingerprint” for fruit juices
7 January 2008
Elhuyar Fundazioa

Adulterations or other possible food frauds are a financial problem that affects many foodstuffs. This is why achieving the authentification of food products is of great importance. In the case of fruit juices the most common type of adulteration is mixing the original juice with juices from other, cheaper fruits (mainly grapefruit, grape or pear); in other words falsifying the juice.

Amongst the chemical methods of authentification, there are two different strategies. On the one hand, the employment of markers – chemical compounds that are ideally specific for or exclusive to each fruit and that can be rapidly, safely and cheaply measured and analysed. This would be ideal. On many occasions, however, it is not possible to find markers that fulfil these requirements and, so, another approach to authentification methods is to measure and analyse a greater number of chemical compounds that make up the characteristic profile of each fruit or fruit juice. The complexity of this requires the employment of chemical analysis techniques and highly sophisticated statistical tools.

Polyphenolic compounds
In order to confirm the authenticity of the fruit juices, researchers at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV) are trying to identify their fingerprints, as it were, using a family of chemical compounds naturally present in all fruit and known as polyphenols. There are thousands of polyphenols amongst the various species in the vegetable kingdom, with differences both in the number of particular polyphenols present in each vegetable species as well as in the quantities found. Thus, different fruits have specific polyphenolic differences.

In order to analyse polyphenols present in each for each fruit, researchers at the EHU-UPV used a high-performance liquid chromatography technique (HPLC), through which they culled information about what particular polyphenols are present in each fruit and in what quantity. This enables the study of the differences in the polyphenols between one fruit and another.

In any case, to be more certain of these polyphenols profiles, the confirmation is needed of the identity of each one of the polyphenols appearing in these profiles. To this end, a mass spectroscopy (MS) analytical technique was employed.

Orange, mandarin, lemon ...
A total of 16 fruits (Orange, mandarin, lemon, grapefruit, etc.), grown in Spain, were studied. In each case a study of the various varieties of each fruit was undertaken – up to 77 varieties, in order to know the common points of all fruits, and their differences.

Beatriz Abad has found, amongst other things in her PhD, a quite exclusive marker for lemon and three for grapefruit. She has also shown that using several markers instead of one increases the probability in detecting the food fraud. Moreover, she observed key differences in various “prints” and, using certain statistical tools, showed that such differences provide a quite reliable degree of accuracy in the detection of some mixtures of juices. For example, detecting the presence of grapefruit in orange juice is very sure and relatively easy; detecting the presence of lemon juice in orange juice is also quite accurate; but detecting the presence of mandarin oranges in orange juice is much more difficult and not very reliable, given that the mandarin and the orange are very similar in their “prints”.

To date they have defined the polyphenolic profiles or polyphenolic “fingerprints” of the various juices from genuine fruit. The next step is currently being carried out by researchers at the EHU-UPV – applying these “prints to existing commercial juices on the market in order to detect possible adulterations or frauds.

Research team: L.A. Berrueta, B. Gallo, F. Vicente, B. Abad, S. Garmón, D.M. López, M. B. Sánchez, M. Romera, C. Sánchez and M. Viloria. Department: Analytical Chemistry Faculty: Science and Technology Faculty (Leioa)
Internet reference

#15: How Super Are Superfruits? Author: adediosLocation: Angel C. de Dios PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:13 pm
How Super Are Superfruits?
Emily Sohn

March 19, 2008

You've probably been told a million times to eat your fruits and vegetables. If you live in the United States, that recommendation probably makes you think of apples, bananas, carrots, and broccoli. It can be boring to eat the same produce day after day. Fortunately, grocery store aisles have grown a lot more exciting lately.

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