Cranberries' Antioxidant Level Tops List in USDA Report

Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:44pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Fruit of the bog outshines 19 commonly eaten fruits for the antioxidant

WAREHAM, Mass., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest Agricultural
Research Service Report from USDA, containing the results of the most
comprehensive analysis of antioxidants in foods, shows cranberries score among
the highest of all common fruits on the antioxidant scale

The report includes antioxidant values for a wide variety of foods, which are
measured by their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC value. With 9584
ORAC units per 100 grams of fresh fruit, cranberries have the highest
antioxidant capacity when compared to 19 common fruits. 

    Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity
    (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007
    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    FRUIT               ORAC
                      USDA 2007
    Cranberry           9584
    Blueberry           6552
    Plum                6259
    Blackberry          5347
    Raspberry           4882
    Strawberry          3577
    Cherry              3365
    Apple               3082
    Pear                2941
    Avocado             1933
    Orange, navel       1819
    Peach               1814
    Tangerine           1620
    Grape, red          1260
    Grapefruit          1238
    Kiwifruit           1210
    Grape, green        1118
    Apricot             1115
    Mango               1002
    Banana               879
    Nectarine            750
    Pineapple            562
    Honeydew             241
    Watermelon           142

    The chart above shows cranberries score the highest
    of all common fruits on the antioxidant scale at 9584 ORAC
    units per 100 g as reported in the recently updated USDA
    ORAC report.

Often identified in food by their deep-colored pigments - such as the deep red
color of cranberries - antioxidants are important components in plants that
are showing potential to protect the body from harmful oxidants known as "free
radicals," which are caused by daily stresses like cigarette smoke,
pollutants, unhealthy foods and environmental toxins.(1)  The cell damage
caused by free radicals weakens the immune system and is linked to several
diseases. Antioxidants reduce the effect of these free radical oxidants by
binding with them and decreasing their destructive power and repairing damage.
 While more research is needed on the effects of antioxidants on health,
preliminary studies suggest they may work by helping to maintain healthy
cells, tissues and arteries.  
There are different types of antioxidants.  Known for their antioxidant
activity, flavonoids make up the largest subgroup of phytonutrients, which are
beneficial compounds found in plant-based foods, including cranberries. 
Specifically, cranberries contain a subclass of flavonoids called
anthocyanins, which are known for their role as antioxidants. Additionally,
cranberries contain a subclass called proanthocyanidins, known for helping to
inhibit E.coli - the bacteria responsible for 80-90 percent of urinary tract
infections - and helping to maintain a healthy urinary tract.(2-6) Ongoing
research continues to reveal more about the unique flavonoid contributions of
cranberries and flavonoids' potential effects on health.

This is exciting news for those who want great taste and healthy rewards from
their food choices. With so many reasons to love cranberries, it's just a
matter of choosing which of their bright red forms to enjoy; choose from
sweetened or unsweetened cranberry juice, sweetened dried cranberries,
cranberry sauce and frozen berries.  Try starting your day with cranberry
juice, a cran-smoothie, oatmeal topped with dried cranberries or a cranberry
oatmeal muffin. Later in the day, enjoy sweetened dried cranberries as a
snack, as a topper on salads, in trail mix, or mixed in rice.

For more information on cranberries, please visit

1. Urquiaga I, Leighton F.  Plant Polyphenol Antioxidants and Oxidative
Stress.  Presented at the conference, "Biology and Pathology of Free Radicals:
Plant and Wine Polyphenol Antioxidants" held July 29-30, 1999, at the Catholic
University, Santiago, Chile, partially supported by the Molecular Basis of
Chronic Diseases Program of the Catholic University (PUC-PBMEC99).
2. Avorn J., Monane M., Gurwitz JH., Glynn RJ, Choodnovskiy L., Lipsitz LA.
Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juice.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994: 271:751-754.
3. Stothers L. Randomized trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost
effectiveness of naturopathic cranberry products as prophylaxis against
urinary tract infection in women. Canadian Journal of Urology,  2002:
4. Howell AB, Reed JD, Krueger CG, Winterbottom R, Cunningham DG, Leahy M.
A-Type cranberry proanthocyanidins and uropathogenic bacterial anti-adhesion
activity. Photochemistry 2005: 66:2281-2291.
5. Greenberg JA, Newmann SJ, Howell AB. Consumption of sweetened dried
cranberries versus unsweetened raisins for inhibition of uropathogenic
escherichia coli adhesion in human urine: A pilot study.  Journal of
Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2005: 11:875-878.
6. Liu Y, Black MA, Caron L, Camesano TA. Role of cranberry juice on molecular
scale surface characteristics and adhesion behavior of escherichia coli. 
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2006; 93:297-305.

SOURCE  Cranberry Marketing Committee

Erin Henry, +1-202-973-3632, for Cranberry Marketing Committee
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.