Antioxidant activity of tocopherols, ascorbyl palmitate, and ascorbic acid and their mode of action

  • W. M. Cort

DOI: 10.1007/BF02633006

Cite this article as:
Cort, W.M. J Am Oil Chem Soc (1974) 51: 321. doi:10.1007/BF02633006


In the quest to use antioxidant compounds occurring in nature or related compounds, extensive studies have been made on vegetable oils, animal fats, apocarotenal, and vitamin A as substrates with ascorbyl palmitate, tocopherols, and ascorbic acid as antioxidants. Antioxidant efficiency varies with the substrate. Ascorbyl palmitate at a level of 0.01% provides a useful increase in the shelf-life of vegetable oils. Alone it is better than butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole and in combinations with other known antioxidants improves the shelf-life of all vegetable oils, as well as potato chips. Solubility problems with ascorbyl palmitate and other esters of ascorbic acid are discussed. The tocopherols have their greatest effect in protection of animal fats, carotenoids, and vitamin A. Experiments utilizing tocopherols and tocopherol combinations are presented. The activity of ascorbic acid, an excellent scavenger of oxygen, is reviewed. Quenchers of singlet oxygen do not inhibit the direct oxidation of fats and oils under the conditions used.

Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. Cort
    • 1
  1. 1.Product Development DepartmentHoffmann-La-Roche Inc.Nutley