Antioxidants in foods: State of the science important to the food industry

John W. Finley, Ah Ng Kong, Korry J. Hintze, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, Li Li Ji, Xin Gen Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Antioxidant foods and ingredients are an important component of the food industry. In the past, antioxidants were used primarily to control oxidation and retard spoilage, but today many are used because of putative health benefits. However, the traditional message that oxidative stress, which involves the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), is the basis for chronic diseases and aging is being reexamined. Accumulating evidence suggests that ROS exert essential metabolic functions and that removal of too many ROS can upset cell signaling pathways and actually increase the risk of chronic disease. It is imperative that the food industry be aware of progress in this field to present the science relative to foods in a forthright and clear manner. This may mean reexamining the health implications of adding large amounts of antioxidants to foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6837-6846
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 13 2011


  • antioxidant
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • exercise
  • food
  • gene activation
  • iron
  • nrf2
  • oxidative stress
  • reactive oxygen pecies
  • selenium
  • thiols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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