Which Antioxidant Should Be Used?
While many compounds may have antioxidant properties,
the number of these compounds to be used in food
applications is relatively few due to safety and
economics. Antioxidants are classified as food
additives, and in the U.S., are subject to the United
States Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
There are four common antioxidants that are used in most
food applications: Tertiary-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ),
Propyl Gallate (PG), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), and
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). These primary
antioxidants can also be used in conjunction with
chelating agents, such as citric acid, to create greater
efficacy. Ortec, Inc. prepares solutions containing
assorted combinations of these antioxidants. These
solutions ensure that the antioxidants can be dispersed
throughout the target food product.
To be effective, the antioxidant of choice must be
soluble and well dispersed into the fat or oil.
Therefore, the already dissolved REACTISOL solutions are
prepared for ease of use by the food processor.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is effective for a
wide variety of lipids. It is often used directly in
vegetable derived oils, and foods containing those
vegetable oils. It is also used in the preparation of
other food categories such as confections, non-dairy
toppings, coffee whiteners and snack dips. TBHQ has been
shown to be highly effective in extending shelf life for
TBHQ has a large ratio of hydrophilic to hydrophobic
balance. This causes it to be very active with bulk
oils, which have a small surface to volume ratio. It
also provides very good color and flavor stability, and
has excellent carry through properties in frying oils.
Propyl Gallate (PG) is a very effective antioxidant that
can be used in various highly unsaturated fats and oils.
It can be combined with BHA, BHT, and/or citric acid. It
is sometimes substituted for vegetable oils in some
countries where TBHQ has not yet been approved. PG is
relatively unstable during baking and frying, however.
Butylated Hydroxylanisole (BHA) is an excellent
antioxidant for a number of fats and oils because of its
solubility. BHA is a more lipophilic antioxidant and is
more effective with oil in water emulsions such as salad
dressings. One of the main uses of BHA is in packaging
material for the cereal industry.
Butylated Hydroxytoluene is highly soluble in fats. It
shares many common characteristics with BHA, and is
often used in conjunction with other antioxidants.
Phone: 864-859-1471 or
PO Box 1469 Easley SC 29641