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What does the term ORAC mean?

Janet  Brill, PhD, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which is a lab technique used to quantify the total antioxidant capacity of a food. The test is done by placing a sample of the food in a test tube (for example, blueberries), combined with certain molecules that generate free radical activity. (Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron and can cause damage to DNA.) After some time, they measure how well the blueberries protected the vulnerable molecules from oxidation. The less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the food, and therefore the higher the ORAC score. 

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