The antioxidant activity of casein calcium peptides in several in vitro assay systems was investigated. Casein calcium peptides were prepared by the microbial enzymic hydrolysis of casein calcium. The main peak of the molecular mass distribution of the peptides was about 3 kDa. Casein calcium peptides showed strong antioxidant activity with the β-carotene bleaching method, and they also showed scavenging activity against radicals such as superoxide radicals, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals, and hydroxyl radicals. Antioxidant activity was increased with an increasing peptide concentration. Casein calcium peptides also showed strong antioxidant activity against lipid oxidation in ground beef homogenates. These results suggest that casein calcium peptides are a suitable natural antioxidant that prevents the lipid oxidation of meat and related food ingredients.
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