Optimizing Antioxidant Value

You're used to seeing 'Use By' dating on perishable packaged goods. But it probably hasn't occurred to you that the antioxidant benefits of green tea and olive oil diminish over time as well. That's what a study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests.

Researchers analyzed 8 varieties of commercial green tea stored in a cool dark environment without being removed from original packaging for up to 6 months. By the end of this period, all 8 brands had lost an average of 32% of their catechin potency. With olive oils examined from the point of bottling to 6 months of storage, phenolic compound potency decreased 40% over the period.

The Bigger Picture: This is one of those situations where stocking up on sale items may not be in your best interest. On the other hand, even if the antioxidant potency decreased by a third or half the original strength, there's still plenty of flavor and health benefits to be realized. Both of these choices provide more in the way of nutrition than their over-processed counterparts.
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