Natural Antioxidants Versus Commercial Antioxidants in the Reduction of Free Readical Decay of Red Delicious Apple Slices

The purpose of this experiment was to compare the efficiency of commercial supplements to their natural counterparts in the reduction of free radical decay in apples. The vitamins tested were vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene and pomegranate. Produce providers can utilize the experimental results to identify the best antioxidant preservative. In addition, the findings can aid consumers in selecting the best vitamins to their diet. The commercial antioxidants were derived from pills while the natural antioxidants were derived from fruits and vegetables. Antioxidant solutions were then concocted by mixing one serving of the pills with water or by liquefying one serving of the natural foods. The initial mass of the apples slices were found. Next, they were immersed in the antioxidant solutions. After three days, the solutions were poured out, subjecting the apples to free radical decay from atmospheric oxygen. After a span of two days, each slice was massed again and percent mass lost was calculated. Two sample t tests were conducted to show potential differences in the mass lost by apples subjected to natural and commercial supplements. The final results showed that on average, apples immersed in commercial antioxidants lost less mass than apples immersed in natural antioxidants. This indicated that commercial supplements outperformed their natural counterparts. The best performing antioxidants included commercial lycopene and vitamin A. The researchers concluded that concentration of the vitamins played a large role in the results. Although the antioxidant serving sizes were equal, their concentration was not. The vitamins in one serving of commercial supplement solutions were more concentrated than the vitamins in natural solutions, thus making them better in reducing free radical decay of apple slices.

Research Done By:

Tayson Lin
Lake Shore High School

Aurora Seidenwand
Centerline High School