In recent years, a lot of research papers and analysis reports have been released in relation to the importance of antioxidants to the human body. Antioxidants are of paramount importance when it comes to edible oils as well.
It is very important to protect foods from getting oxidized. So, by adding antioxidants to edible oils, the process of lipid oxidation is prevented.
Lipid oxidation causes the oil to develop an unpleasant taste and smell. This is not something you want and hence, the addition of anti-oxidants is of paramount importance.
In order to hold back oxidation, a particular amount of antioxidants are much required. Plant extracts are a good source of antioxidants as they are rich in phenolic compounds.
This makes them very ideal to be widely used as a source of antioxidants in order to retard the process of lipid oxidation of foods.
Therefore, when edible oils contain antioxidants in the right amounts, they are more stable than ever.
Antioxidants and their importance
Antioxidants are substances that are present in low concentrations as compared to oxidizable substrates. This enables the antioxidants to significantly delay or prevent the oxidation of the substrates.
Materials in foods such as fats are highly prone to oxidization and hence, food antioxidants are specially formulated to prevent this from happening. This ensures the safe and quality consumption of foods.
During oxidation, a ton of free radicals are produced and when oxidized foods are consumed, those free radicals have the potential to severely harm our body. Not just that, these free radicals can start chain reactions and this can lead to further oxidation.
Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions significantly and this makes them an all the more important addition to edible oils.
However, it is also very important to understand the conditions under which free radicals are produced in order to keep you and your family healthy. Free radicals are produced when:
During the frying of foods, free radicals may be formed. So, do not overdo it.
When you consume vegetables that are grown and protected through pesticides, a lot of oxidative stress is caused to the body and in order to balance it out, add antioxidants in your diet or through supplementation.
People who are smokers or inhale secondary smoke through any other means need to add a lot of Vitamin C to their diet.
Also, when the body is exposed to abnormal levels of ozone, it accumulates a lot of free radicals. For example, during sunbathing skiing, yachting or any other activity which involves being exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
So, to sum it up, antioxidants are much needed in order to stabilise edible oils and keep us healthy by:
Terminating the free radical chain through the donation of hydrogen to these free radicals and conversion of them into significantly more stable compounds.
By reacting with lipid radicals, they form lipid antioxidant complexes.
They delay or prevent the initiation of the process of oxidation.