High ORAC Score vs. Antioxidant Claim

A new juice containing goji and soursop juices is advertised as "High ORAC... High Anti-Oxidants" ... made from berries "rich in ... beta-carotene." In addition, the website claims the juice can "fight malignant cells," and provide other health benefits.

 

The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of a food is a measure of antioxidant capacity, but not necessarily of physiologically-relevant antioxidant activity in the body. In addition, any antioxidant claim on a food product (whether on the label, advertising, website, etc.) must comply with labeling regulations, meaning there must be at least 20% of the Daily Value for at least one allowed antioxidant compound in order to use a claim of "high in antioxidants." The antioxidants allowed on nutrition labels are vitamins A, C and E and selenium. Since this juice contains no appreciable vitamin A (contrary to the implied claim, "rich in beta-carotene"), and only 15% DV for vitamin C, a claim of "high in antioxidants" cannot be used.

The claim that the juice can fight malignant cells is an implied cancer-cure claim, which cannot be made for a food product. Only drugs that have been rigorously tested for efficacy and safety can make such claims. Many of the other claims on the website, marketing materials and package are not allowed and unsupported as well.

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