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Scientist unlocks the apple's superpower

AAP logoAAP 29/09/2016 Sarah Wiedersehn

An Australian scientist has developed a natural method to extract the "holy grail" of antioxidants from apples to provide a potent dietary supplement.

Apples contain high concentrations of phenolics - a powerful antioxidant - which is responsible for protecting the fruit from degradation from UV light and disease.

Phenolics perform a similar role in humans, protecting the body's cells against damage from free radicals which can lead to ageing, inflammation and cell mutations.

But up until now, scientists have been unable to extract the antioxidant from apples and other fruit without using chemical solvents.

However Dr Vincent Candrawinata from the University of Newcastle has made a breakthrough in antioxidant extraction technology and has developed a chemical and synthetic free form of phenolics.

"The extraction technology results in a highly water soluble antioxidant, which is 100 per cent natural and entirely compatible with the human body," Dr Candrawinata said.

The process involved in the extraction process simply involves water and apples, says Dr Candrawinata.

"For the very first time we are able to ditch the chemical solvents in the extraction process, and so basically we are harnessing the power or potency of this natural superfood and bringing it into a form that people can take everyday."

Dr Candrawinata says there really is a reason why "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", because the fruit is widely recognised as nature's first and most potent superfood.

While he does not advocate substituting apples from our diets he does believe that humans do need help in the fight against certain cancers and diseases.

"Environmental pollution, prevalence of fast and processed foods and fast-paced contemporary lifestyles are exposing us to the highest levels of free radicals," he said.

Activated phenolics is now available on the market to take in powder or tablet form.

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