LONDON, Ontario, March 29 (UPI) -- Canadian researchers say barbecue sauces are a rich source of antioxidants if they contain spices and herbs.
Postdoctoral fellow Raymond Thomas at the University of Western Ontario in London and colleagues Mark Bernards and Christopher Guglielmo say marinades used in barbecue sauces are not only tasty, they can also provide a major source of natural antioxidants.
The researchers tested seven popular brands and flavors of marinade containing herbs and spices as primary ingredients including jerk sauce, garlic and herb, honey garlic, roasted red pepper, lemon pepper garlic, sesame ginger teriyaki and green seasoning.
The study, published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, found Grace Jerk Sauce and Renee's Sesame Ginger Teriyaki outperformed the other five sauces tested because they contain substantial quantities of ingredients like hot peppers, allspice, sesame and ginger.
However, marinating meat prior to cooking reduced antioxidant levels by 45 percent to 70 percent, but despite the antioxidant loss following marinating and cooking, the sauces still provide benefits, the Thomas says.
"Consumers can maximize their intake of the antioxidants available in these sauces by choosing those with the highest antioxidant levels prior to marinating and cooking," Thomas says in a statement. "Alternatively, you can brush the sauce on just before serving the meat, or consume it without cooking -- some can be used as a salad dressing."