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EXTRACTION OF ANTIOXIDANT COMPOUNDS FROM RED PITAYA USING SOXHLET EXTRACTION METHOD - page 13 / 24

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1

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1

Research Background

Antioxidant is a molecule that capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that can damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves. As a result, antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols or polyphenols (en.wikipedia.org).

There are two or three major vitamin groups such as vitamin A, C and E that work in the body as antioxidants. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are very powerful natural antioxidants. Many vitamins are proven antioxidants, which mean they are able to fight against free radicals in the body. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and is also needed for the production of serotonin. Vitamin E also works synergistically with the mineral selenium that helps body to create other antioxidants. Although both vitamin A and vitamin C are good antioxidants vitamin E is the most effective and potential antioxidants for the health of your eyes (Miller, 1993).

Nowadays people prone to get synthetic antioxidant as their supplement or vitamins compared to natural antioxidant. Synthetic vitamins consist of synthetic

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