Photochem: Antioxidant Detection and Soybean Storage Study for Planetary Outposts 2004-01-2564
Astronauts and foodstuffs used in long-term NASA missions are exposed to various levels of stress during transit and storage that can challenge the astronauts' health, and the quantity and quality of food produced from bulk or locally grown produce. Oxidative stress, oxidation, and radiation can influence the antioxidant level in people, in food, and the foods' shelf life. It is therefore critical to ascertain the antioxidant potential, not just individual antioxidants, in foods and in the astronauts. Antioxidant potential in lipid and water-soluble compounds can be quantitated by Analytik Jena's Photochem® unit. We have been developing a methodology for the determination of antioxidant potential in soybeans that have been stored under different temperature and humidity conditions for Earth, Shuttle, International Space Station, Lunar and Mars missions. Changes in the composition and quality of the soyfoods produced from these treatments were evaluated. In addition, human blood plasma, after different diets containing iron, soy protein, isoflavones, and different exercise protocols are being evaluated for their influence on antioxidant potential. Standard curves have been developed and correlated to Vitamin E, Vitamin C and BHT standards. In the soybean antioxidant evaluation, there is a difference in antioxidant potential due to storage and soybean cultivar. In the initial human plasma evaluations, the subjects were postmenopausal women who had consumed 40g of soy protein with either poor or normal phytate or isoflavone contents. Neither a treatment effect nor a significant change within the four groups was observed. Results from these studies plus a review of other applications is discussed.