This module investigates the level of antioxidants in foods and examines how these levels are affected by treatments including heating, drying, and digestion. In this module students will first learn different techniques of measuring antioxidant content that are currently used in practicing research laboratories. Students will prepare solutions and samples for Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) and Total Polyphenolics assays, through which they learn about dilution factors and making precision mass and volume measurements. Students then will conduct both assays using a UV-visible spectrophotometer, develop calibration curves and perform calculations to analyze the data. A third technique learned will be preparing samples for analysis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). This includes interpretation of HPLC chromatograms to calculate the concentration of ascorbic acid. Students will then apply the learned techniques to design a novel experiment in which they will investigate the effects of a treatment on the antioxidant levels of a food product.
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