Synthetic antioxidant

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that involves the transfer of electrons from one compound to another and has negative effects physiologically. In foods, antioxidants have been defined as ‘substances that in small quantities are able to prevent or greatly retard the oxidation of easily oxidizable materials such as fats, therefore, in food science antioxidants are usually equated with chain-breaking inhibitors of lipid peroxidation.

Antioxidants may protect cells by a variety of mechanisms, including the conversion of ROS to non-radical species (which are dependent on the antioxidant involved), breaking the auto-oxidative chain reaction initiated by ROS and decreasing localized oxygen concentrations.

They are important in prevention of plants pollution damage, disease prevention in both plants and animals and play an important role in the body defense system.

Antioxidants are categorized in two major groups namely natural and synthetic. These groups are in dietary antioxidants intakes and play major roles in maintaining the homeostasis of the oxidative balance.

Synthetic antioxidants have been used in place of natural ones, mainly because they present higher stability and performance, low costs and wide availability

Synthetic antioxidants are chemically synthesized compounds since they do not occur in nature and are added to food as preservatives to help prevent lipid oxidation.

Due to the inherent instability of natural antioxidants, several synthetic antioxidants have been used to stabilize fats and oils. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) were originally developed to protect petroleum from oxidative gumming. However, these compounds have been used as antioxidants in human foods since 1954 and are perhaps the most common antioxidants used in those foods today.

A synthetic compound has to meet the following requirements:
*It should not be toxic;
*It has to be highly active at low concentrations (0.01–0.02%);
*It has to concentrate on the surface of the fat or oil phase.
Synthetic antioxidant


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