I would like to thank Scott for passing on Dr. Alex Schauss’ presentation of freeze-dried acai:
I was initially quite excited that freeze-dried acai could scientifically be proven to have far greater ORAC scores than other berries. Perhaps it is the scientific break-through that he claims it to be. To review, here’s what Alex Schauss says:
I would have needed another three screens to the right of my computer to let that arrow accurately define it’s difference compared to freeze-dried samples of other foods that we looked at – that the USDA looked at. It was off the chart.(Timestamp of 2:23)
The bold emphasis there is mine. There’s also this:
again you can see the high bar that is acai and all of these others which are moisture equivalent and they are also freeze-dried samples. So you can there is a vast difference between the two. So Gram to gram… (Timestamp of 3:43)
I had always contended that Schauss was measuring two different things: one freeze-dried acai… the other typical berries. This would be a troubling comparison because most everyone knows that water makes up 90% of fruit. If you take the water out of acai you can get 10x more ORAC score if you are measuring “gram to gram” of something that still has 90% of it’s water. As such, I always thought that we needed a fair test, one that is moisture equivalent as he states. And now that we have it, let’s celebrate the freeze-dried acai berry, right?
Unfortunately, we can’t break out the party hats yet. My friend Vogel as usual digs up the hard evidence to discount that information, noting the following:
- The bar chart falsely quotes one of Schauss’ studies [J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(22):8604-10] as the source of this data, when in fact his study did not report the ORAC values of other fruits.
- Schauss says, From our results the H-ORAC of freeze-dried acai was 996.9 umol TE/g, which is significantly higher than that of most dark colored berry or any fruit or vegetable tested to date when appropriately converting fresh weight to dry weights(14).
- Reference #14 in the previous bullet point was a study listed the ORAC values for various non-freeze-dried fruits published by Wu et al. [J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52:4026-37].
- The H-ORAC values for “full moisture” cranberry and blueberry listed in the Wu article are about 92 per gram
- Since we know that 90% of the weight of full moisture berries is water, we would need to multiply the cranberry and blueberry by 10 to get their freeze-dried ORAC score.
- That gives us 996.9 umol TE/g for acai vs. 920 umol TE/g for blueberry cranberry. Dr. Alex Schauss didn’t seem to convert for wet vs. dry very well. Acai still wins, but by less than 10% – clearly not the “three computer screens” that Dr. Alex Schauss says suggests.
This victory for minor victory for freeze-dried acai is short-lived… the paper goes on to say:
Contradictorily and surprisingly, the contents of anthocyanins, proanthocyanadins, and other polyphenol compounds in this freeze-dried product were found to be much lower than those found in blueberry or other berries with elevated H-ORAC values. To make things even more confusing, the total phenolics in acai was found to be only 13.9 mg/g GAE
The interesting thing to me is that this is exactly what Men’s Journal said about MonaVie, “[MonaVie Active] tested extremely low in anthocyanins and phenolics… even apple juice (which also tested poorly) has more phenolics…”
Now is a good time to mention that freeze-dried acai and MonaVie are not one in the same. Most distributors will talk about freeze-dried acai, and then hand you a bottle of MonaVie as if it’s the same thing. We know the ORAC scores on MonaVie from other AIMBR tests and that’s not any prettier.
Originally posted 2009-09-17 13:54:26. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.
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