Publication of preliminary recommendations from the meeting is tentatively scheduled for September, Finley said. Official standard methods could take two to three years to develop and must be tested in multiple labs to ensure the methods are valid, he noted.
Once official standards are established, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry will become the first peer-reviewed scientific journal to require that contributors adhere to agreed-upon standards in reporting new antioxidant measurement methods and in measuring antioxidant levels in samples, said Finley, adding that other scientific journals also will be expected to follow these standards.
Some meeting participants felt the intense focus on methodology distracted from the real significance of antioxidants for consumers, which is their potential health benefit. Antioxidant news is increasingly capturing the attention of health-conscious consumers, but there is little scientific data on the actual effect of these compounds in humans. More studies are needed in this area, researchers said.
"The bottom line is the same: eat more fruits and veggies," said Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., a meeting co-organizer and lead author of a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study that is considered the largest, most comprehensive analysis to date of the antioxidant content of commonly consumed foods.
Represented at the meeting were the National Institutes of Health, the USDA, the American Oil Chemists' Society, the Association of Analytical Communities, as well as a host of universities and food-related organizations. A second meeting on antioxidant methods is exp
Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society