Brunswick Labs confirm Green Cell ORAC claims

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oxygen radical absorbance capacity

South African extracts specialist, Green Cell Technologies (GCT), has had its ORAC claims verified by Brunswick Laboratories, the reputed third party tester.

Earlier this year GCT said it had achieved 1,000,000+ raw ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) values for green and Rooibos tea extracts using its patented extraction process – much higher than had been achieved before.

Those raw extracts, used in a product for a Malaysian client with a 40% polyphenol protocol and 8000 ORAC requirement, were then sent to Brunswick along with Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Brunswick returned values of 8987 while CPUT showed 8846 using micromole Trolox equivalency (uMole TE).

“The results were within 5% standard deviation which we believe is acceptable and confirms GCT’s ability to produce extremely pure high yield H-ORAC extracts,”​ said GCT spokesperson, Karen Hallett.

Dr Jörg Grünwald, president of the German contract research organisation and natural products consultancy, analyze&realize, agreed the results validated GCT’s ORAC claims.

They repeated their ORAC measurements with Brunswick Labs, the accepted source for ORAC measurements and they confirmed their values, that is a very good finding to support their thesis,”​ he said.

The value of ORAC value

But Dr Grünwald noted the debate that has been raging about the value of ORAC measurements in predicting cardiovascular and other human health outcomes, a state-of-play that has led to the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) scrapping its ‘ORAC Database for Selected Foods’.

“If those very high ORAC values are to be reflected in human health needs and improvements they need to be proven by randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials (RCTs), which I have not seen from their product,”​ he said.

GCT did not deny the importance of RCTs but said ORAC values alone were a strong indicator of the likely antioxidant power of any particular product or extract.

It is important to note that GCT and its manufacturing facility, Dynamic Extractions and Formulations, base their Certificates of Analyses on the relationship between ORAC and the phenolic percentage extract,”​ Hallett said.

“This is done in order to counteract the current invasion of adulterated products that contain high polyphenols but low ORACS as the polyphenols are not always from the correct source material. For instance there have been a number of instances where black wattle has shown up in products claiming to have high polyphenol tea extracts.”

“We would like to issue a warning to organisations who are buying products based solely on the phenolic content – they should be looking at the ORAC value in conjunction with the phenolic.”

She added it was up to product manufacturers, not ingredient suppliers to provide product-specific RCTs.

“One would assume that the contract manufacturer would include our extracts into the products with clinically beneficial dosages as per the science,”​ she observed.

“Therefore it is not up to us to clinically prove Rooibos or green tea benefits. That has been done and continues to be done by other institutions. However these other extracts, based on outcomes from those clinical studies, are at present being sold into the contract manufacturing space at low purities which hurts the industry.”

More not less

Like many in the antixoidants commerciasl and academic community, GCT disputed the NDL decision to remove its ORAC database.

“Here is the killer question: Has the USDA proven that ORAC value is not relevant? If not they have made a very unscientific decision. In fact GCT would counter argue the USDA’s reasoning and say that there is cause for the USDA to enforce more rigorous per product testing of ORAC values as this in our opinion is potentially a very clear indicator or quality of processing and supply all the way back to farming methods.”

Dr Grünwald observed that, The importance of the ORAC values was partially mis-used in the US marketing-wise. The consumers were told the higher the number, the better the health effect – it is not so easy.”

The NDL said it removed the ORAC Database because:

  • The values indicating antioxidant capacity have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health.
  • ORAC values are routinely misused by food and dietary supplement manufacturing companies to promote their products and by consumers to guide their food and dietary supplement choices.

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1 comment

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