Green Cell Technologies (GCT) says its Dynamic Cellular Disruption (DCD) method has enabled production of green tea and rooibos tea antioxidant extracts with an ORAC value of 1,700,000 per 100g – the highest known commercially extracted ORAC values from any plant material.
The values are verified by the Oxidative Research Laboratory at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology in Capetown, but nevertheless these are big claims to make.
Dr Jörg Grünwald, president of the German contract research organisation and natural products consultancy analyze&realize, told Nutraingredients he would like to see evidence from Brunswick Laboratories before taking GCT at its word.
“Brunswick Laboratories is the only lab recognised as performing legally acceptable ORAC measurements. The range given is practically unbelievable – only spices have been shown to deliver ORAC values of 300,000.”
Cell membrane disruption
GCT says such high ORAC values are achieved thanks to its patented extraction method, which disrupts the cell membrane by applying enormous force and pressure.
“The mechanical intervention that forms part of the process destabilises the plant cell structures and releases all of the actives and not just part of them, as is common in other extraction methods. Because of the high number of extracted actives, we are able to achieve the high H-ORACs in these products,” explained a spokesperson for the company.
Besides the ultra-high ORAC extracts, GCT uses the process to produce extracts with a standardised polyphenol content, for example, a 60% polyphenol content extract with an ORAC value of 10,500 per gram.
Green Cell Technologies says the high ORAC extracts were developed with the aim of “consistently providing to market the necessary values of H-ORAC in easily consumed, quick and effective formats to support the body’s daily H-ORAC needs”.
It says the body requires in excess of 20,000 H-ORACs per day and cites peer reviewed studies conducted by Cape Peninsular University of Technology in support of this figure.
Dr Grünwald, however, questions the requirement for such a high intake of H-ORACs, saying, “There is no generally accepted evidence for such an antioxidant cause and effect relationship.”
He says no guidelines exist in Europe but points to the US, where the USDA recommends 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units
Another reason for using these high ORAC, standardised extracts is that brand owners can support marketing and label claims, says GCT.
“The problem on the market today is that labels claim they contain certain extracts and ingredients and in certain amounts, but when tested do not either contain enough or in some cases any at all,” said the GCT spokesperson.
“Also, millions of dollars are spent on scientific research into recommended daily amounts, yet to achieve this in most products, a consumer would need to ingest bottles and bottles of a product to see any result.”