EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE | September 09, 2013

Scientific symposium today on healthful antioxidants in plant-based foods

Note to journalists: Please report that this research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

A press conference on this topic will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. in the ACS Press Center, Room 211 in the Indiana Convention Center. Reporters can attend in person or access live audio and video of the event and ask questions at www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive.

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2013 — With millions of people tailoring their diets to include more healthful antioxidants — and these “polyphenols” getting  tremendous attention among nutritionists, food scientists and physicians — the world’s largest scientific society today is holding a symposium on that topic today.

The symposium, called “Polyphenolic Chemistry in Food Science: Flavor, Color, and Biofunctional Properties,” is part of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The meeting continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels. Thousands of scientists and others are expected for the meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on new discoveries in science and other topics.

Found naturally in plant-based foods — including items with such high levels that they have been termed “superfoods” — polyphenols have been in the news as health food. Superfoods include dark chocolate, red wine, coffee, tea, nuts, and deeply colored fruits and vegetables. Recent scientific research links polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant, with a range of possible health benefits. Among them: reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.

Among more than a dozen topics in the symposium:

  • A cooking oil rich in polyphenols, which make fried foods more healthful.
  • Polyphenols’ role in giving coffee its pleasantly bitter flavor.
  • Strawberries retain their rich red color and polyphenols when not exposed to air.
  • The possible role of polyphenols in treating inflammatory diseases.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Michael Bernstein


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