, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 255-260

The peroxidizing effect of α-tocopherol on autoxidation of methyl linoleate in bulk phase

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In order to understand the effect of α-tocopherol on the autoxidation mechanism of edible oil under storage conditions, methyl linoleate was allowed to autoxidize at 50 C in bulk phase without any radical initiator. The reaction was monitored by determining the production of four isomeric hydroperoxides (13-cis,trans; 13-trans,trans; 9-cis,trans; 9-trans,trans) by high performance liquid chromatographic analysis after reduction. In the absence of α-tocopherol, the rate of autoxidation depended on the sample size, and the duration of the induction period was affected by the initial level of hydroperoxides. However, the distribution of c-t and t-t hydroperoxide isomers remained constant during the propagation period regardless of the sample size. The addition of α-tocopherol at 0.1 and 1.0% caused a linear increase in the amount of hydroperoxides and elevated the distribution of the c-t isomers. The rate of hydroperoxidation appeared to be governed by the initial concentration of α-tocopherol rather than the sample size or the initial hydroperoxide level. This peroxidizing effect of α-tocopherol was suppressed by the presence of ascorbyl palmitate. A mechanism in which chromanoxy radical participates is proposed for the effect of α-tocopherol on lipid autoxidation in bulk phase. It is therefore suggested that α-tocopherol at high concentrations influences the mechanism of autoxidation of edible oil.