Tea good to be true? The 1,000,000+ ORAC extract

By Lynda Searby

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oxygen radical absorbance capacity

Disruptive technology? ORAC values of 1,700,000 per 100g suggest so...
Disruptive technology? ORAC values of 1,700,000 per 100g suggest so...
A South African company claims to have produced the world’s first one million+ ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value plant extracts.

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.”

ORAC guidelines

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.”

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Posted by Roy Henderson,

As promised and just to keep you all in the loop. Green Cell Technologies are preparing a sample to send to Brunswick University Laboratories. Green Cell Technologies have made contact with Mr. Bell and Mr. Grunwald in this regard and will continue to communicate with them so that any further releases that are made are done with the understanding that their accuracy is beyond reproach. It has only ever been the intention of Green Cell Technologies to produce commercially repeatable products at the highest purity that when used in consumer good are actually of clinical benefit and not just in name. Watch these spaces because there is more to come.

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Posted by Roy Henderson MMM, NC, MBA,

Alexander Schauss's comments would be supported by Green Cell Technologies if the intention of the press release was to prove the Dynamic Cellular Disruption process clinically. It is common practice to use fractionating processes to concentrate bio-actives to be used in clinical or alternative health applications.
Green Cell Technologies process is merely more efficient than others and as a result more bio-actives are patently available for the consumer, the clinical evidence of this is relevant. The application and uses for Aspalatin from Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos or Red Bush) is well documented and some of the studies can be found at www.def-sa.com/library under the heading Green and Red Rooibos.
The clinical evidence that the plant cell destabalizing process has benefit to the consumer comes in the form of the Assays which are in the posession of NutraIngredients and that now a stabilized product can be produced which is consistently at a clinically significant level of Aspalatin in every batch. It is urged that all readers look at the previous comments and follow the various links to gain a comprehensive viewpoint on this important issue.

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Lacks publication or evidence of clinical relevance

Posted by Alexander G. Schauss, PhD, FACN,

Searby's, Grunwald's, and Bell's comments are noteworthy and accurate. What is missing is a reference to a published paper in a peer-reviewed journal. The company offers no evidence that this plant cell destablizing process provides clinically relevant benefits to consumers.

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