Study shows corn products high in antioxidants

by Jeff Gelski
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WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. — Milled yellow corn products are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as lutein, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Carotenoids are yellow and orange plant pigments known for their association in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.

Carotenoids from milled corn products often are more than 50% bioaccessible, which relates to the amount of absorption by the body after digestion.

"The bioaccessibility of carotenoids from milled corn products is as high if not higher than many other foods such as spinach, carrots and tomatoes, which are well-known for their high levels of carotenoid antioxidants," said Dr. Mario Ferruzzi, associate professor in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University in West Lafayette and author of the study.

Judi Adams, president of the Grain Foods Foundation, Ridgway, Colo., said, "Vegetables remain an important source of carotenoids, but this study demonstrates that consumers of all ages can feel good about eating milled corn products knowing that they provide essential nutrients to help keep the body healthy."

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