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Spice up your health this barbecue season
Date:3/23/2010

London, ON A new study at The University of Western Ontario finds the sauces you use when firing up the barbecue this summer may provide unforeseen health benefits.

The research, led by Western biology and psychology postdoctoral fellow Raymond Thomas, shows common marinades may be more than just tasty sauces they can also provide a major source of natural antioxidants. The paper was co-authored by Mark Bernards and Christopher Guglielmo in Western's department of biology.

Foods rich in antioxidants play an essential role in preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, inflammation and problems associated with cutaneous aging.

"Herbs and spices are excellent sources of antioxidants, but estimating consumption rates can be difficult considering they are not generally consumed in large quantities, compared to fruits and vegetables," says Thomas. "Instead, they are used in relatively small amounts as ingredients in recipes and formulations such as spice mixes and marinating sauces that enhance food flavour."

Diverse processing methods during manufacture, length of marinating time and exposure to various modes of cooking can significantly alter the antioxidant status of these products and, consequently, the amount of antioxidants available to consumers.

Thomas was able to show for the first time the impact of marinating and cooking meat on the antioxidant status of seven different popular brands and flavours of marinade containing herbs and spices as primary ingredients. Each is readily available at local grocery stores and included jerk sauce, garlic and herb, honey garlic, roasted red pepper, lemon pepper garlic, sesame ginger teriyaki and green seasoning.

His research found very good quantities of antioxidants in all seven sauces, but that marinating meat prior to cooking reduced antioxidant levels by 45-70 percent. Both Grace Jerk Sauce and Re
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Contact: Raymond Thomas
rthoma2@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81596
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

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