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Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

Oxygen Radical Absorbance CapacityOxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of a food.

Correlation between the high antioxidant capacity of fruits & vegetables, and the positive impact of diets high in fruits & vegetables, is believed to play an important role in the Free-radical theory of aging.

The ORAC assay evaluates "free radical scavenging activity against the peroxyl radical" or the antioxidant capacity of foods and supplements. It is important to critically examine ORAC values because although ORAC does provide helpful information when comparing the antioxidants in various products, companies may intentionally mislead consumers.

A red grape will have a lower ORAC value than the red grape powder not because of nutritional differences, but because of the difference in moisture. With this distinction in mind, consumers must note that a liquid dietary supplement's ORAC value should not be compared to a powder dietary supplement's ORAC value. Likewise, the value for food is measured per 100 grams while the value for supplements is often measured per gram. We encourage consumers to pay attention to the measurements of the ORAC value as well as the type of supplement measured in order to reach more accurate results of the antioxidant level.

USDA data on foods with high levels of antioxidant phytochemicals
FoodServing sizeAntioxidant capacity
per serving size
Cinnamon, ground100 grams267,536
Aronia black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)100 grams16062
Small Red Beancup dried beans13727
Wild blueberry1 cup13427
Red kidney beancup dried beans13259
Pinto beancup11864
Blueberry1 cup (cultivated berries)9019
Cranberry1 cup (whole berries)8983
Artichoke hearts1 cup, cooked7904
Blackberry1 cup (cultivated berries)7701
Prunecup7291
Raspberry1 cup6058
Strawberry1 cup5938
Red Delicious apple1 apple5900
Granny Smith apple1 apple5381
Pecan1 oz5095
Sweet cherry1 cup4873
Black plum1 plum4844
Russet potato1, cooked4649
Black beancup dried beans4181
Plum1 plum4118
Gala apple1 apple3903

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