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. 

Continue Learning about Antioxidants

Antioxidant-Rich Blueberries: The Super Brain Food
Antioxidant-Rich Blueberries: The Super Brain Food
You'll never eat naked cereal again when you realize what blueberries do for your brain. Blueberries improve memory and learning, and delay age-relate...
Read More
How do carotenes promote good health?
Michael T. Murray, NDMichael T. Murray, ND
Preliminary and experimental studies suggest that a higher dietary intake of carotenes offers protec...
More Answers
How are polyphenols good for my health?
Janet  Brill, PhD, RDJanet Brill, PhD, RD
Polyphenols are plant chemicals rich in antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation in the body and ...
More Answers
Strawberries: A Diabetes Superfood
Strawberries: A Diabetes Superfood

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.