North Frontier Foods' Cornbread and Pancake Mixes


Important note: The following is to give an overview of what information and research is going on today with reference to scientific papers, we hope that this will encourage you to read those papers to understand the complexity and wonders of nature and human health. Included is also some of Dave Christensen and Ole Norgaard’s own test results of the Montana Morado Maize.

What are Antioxidants and what do they do?

Antioxidants are water-soluble plant pigments responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many plant tissues (1). They occur primarily as glycosides or acylglycosides of their respective aglycone antioxidants (1). Aglycones are rarely found in fresh plant materials (1). There are about 17 antioxidants found in nature, whereas only 6 of them, cyanidin (Cy), delphinidin (Dp), petunidin (Pt), peonidin (Pn), pelargonidin (Pg), and malvidin (Mv), are ubiquitously distributed (1). Thus far, over 600 naturally occurring antioxidants have been reported (2), and they are known to vary in the number and position of hydroxyl and methoxyl groups on the basic anthocyanidin skeleton; the identity, number, and positions at which sugars are attached; and the extent of sugar acylation and the identity of the acylating agent (1). Antioxidants have important functions in plant physiology (1). They are believed to play a major role in both pollination and seed dispersal (1). Because of their intense color, anthocyanins are also regarded as potential candidates for natural colorants in the food industry (1).
The analysis of antioxidants has become particularly important because of the numerous studies dealing with their potential health effects and the study of absorption, metabolism, and mechanisms of action (3). Anthocyanins have been shown to be strong antioxidants and may exert a wide range of health benefits though antioxidant of other mechanisms (1). There is considerable anecdotal and epidemiological evidence that dietary antioxidant pigments and polyphenolics may have preventive and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases (4).

Today, interest in antioxidant pigments has intensified because of their possible health benefits as dietary antioxidants. Purple corn (Zea mays L.) is a rich and economic source of anthocyanin colorants and functional ingredients (6). Antioxidants and functional phenolics are major constituents of food colors of purple corn (6). Antioxidants exhibiting anti-diabetic, anti-angiogenic and anti-carcinogenic activities have been suggested for potential medicinal uses (7,8). Therefore, the renoprotection by anthocyanin-rich purple corn extract against mesangial activation of monocytes and infiltration of macrophages may be specific therapies targeting diabetes-associated diabetic glomerulosclerosis (5). In addition, anthocyanin-rich purple corn extract supplementation would be an important strategy for preventing renal vascular diseases in type 2 diabetes (5).

Disclaimer: The purple corn that is referred to in these texts is not Montana Morado Maize and we currently don’t know what effects Montana Morado Maize have since it has not been tested like this.


Testing of Anthocyanin.

Dave Christensen has made several of these tests on the Montana Morado Maize and its antioxidant levels. Below is shown one of his tests where compared to other corn as white, yellow, blue and even his Painted Mountain. This test shows the Montana Morado Maize (Painted Mountain Black), has significantly higher levels of antioxidant than the other corns, even when compared to his famous Painted Mountain corn (Painted Mountain Red).  

OARC Test of Montana Morado Maize.

Since Anthocyanin is part of the antioxidant spectrum, another test that is used is called an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test.

In a study called; “Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States” (9) over 100 different kinds of foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, spices, cereals, infant and other foods were analyzed using the ORAC test. This was the first time that OARC and Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) combining both lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant components were analyzed in these foods. Of all these different foods they also analyzed blue corn and in table 7 the TAC test of “blue corn meal” is 6.84.

When a sample of our average corn flour from our black/purple corn (Montana Morado Maize™) with help from Montana State University was analyzed at the same laboratory, Brunswick Laboratories in Massachusetts, it showed a total ORAC of 68.0 or 10 times higher level than blue corn (See report below).

What we are seeing from our test is that the Montana Morado Maize has greatly enhanced levels of Anthocyanin and Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) when compared to other corn like normal white and yellow or even blue corn.

There is still a lot of work and research that need to be done to fully understand the health aspect of Montana Morado Maize and hopefully over time we will be able to unlock and understand a lot more of these things.



(1) Xianli Wu, Gary R. Beecher, Joanne M. Holden, David B. Haytowitz, Susan E. Gebhardt, and Ronald L. Prior.  Concentrations of Anthoyanins in Common Foods in the United States and Estimation of Normal consumption. Journal of Agrisulture and Food Chemistry. 2006, 54, 4069-4075

(2) Anderson, O. M. Anthocyanin occurrences and analysis. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Anthocyanins: Research and DeVelopment of Anthocyanins, Adelaide, South Australia, 2002.  

(3)Zhimin Xu, Luke R. Howard; Analysis of Antioxidant-Rich Phytochemicals

(4) Ronald E. Wrolstad, Ph.D. SOU Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Technology. The Possible Health Benefits of Anthocyanin pigments and Polyphenolics

(5) Min-Kyung Kang, Jing Li, Jung-Lye Kim, Ju-Hyun Gong, Su-Nam Kwak, Jung Han Yoon Park, Jae-Yong Lee, Soon Sung Lim, Young-Hee Kang Department of Food and Nutrition, Hallym University, Chuncheon; Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Korea. Purple corn anthocyanins inhibit diabetes-associated glomerular monocyte activation and macrophage infiltration 

(6) Jing P, Giusti MM. Effects of extraction conditions on improving the yield and quality of an anthocyanin-rich purple corn (Zea mays L.) color extract. J Food Sci. 2007;72:C366-C368.  

(7) Crozier A, Jaganath IB, Clifford MN. Dietary phenolics: chemistry, bioavailability and effects on health. Nat Prod Rep. 2009;26:1001-1043.

(8) Tsuda T, Horio F, Uchida K, Aoki H, Osawa T. Dietary cyanidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside-rich purple corn color prevents obesity and ameliorates hyperglycemia in mice. J Nutr. 2003;133:2125-2130.  

(9) Xianli Wu, Gary R. Beecher, Joanne M. Holden, David B. Haytowitz, Susan E. Gebhardt, and Ronald L. Prior.  Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States

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