, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 969-979

Monitoring the oxidation of docosahexaenoic acid in lipids

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The oxidation of free DHA, DHA mixed with PC, and DHA incorporated into PC, PE, or TG was evaluated to determine which lipid provided DHA with the best protection against oxidation. DHA was either situated at the sn-1 position, sn-2 position, or both positions of the phospholipid, whereas the TG contained DHA at all positions. All lipids were incubated as bulk lipids, in chloroform, or as an emulsion in contact with air at 25–30°C for 28 d. Since DHA, which is highly sensitive to oxidation, has a great impact on our health and is desired as a food additive, the stability of this FA is of great importance. This study was mainly focused on the primary oxidation products, which were monitored as eight monohydroperoxy-DHA isomer groups, the total amount of polyhydroperoxides, and the PV. However, a measure of secondary oxidation products, the carbonyl value, was also monitored. We found that DHA was most protected against hydroperoxide formation when it was incorporated at one position of either PC or PE. In these lipids, hydroperoxide formation at carbon atoms 4, 7, 8, and 11 was completely prevented. DHA mixed with PC was also protected, although to a lesser extent, and all hydroperoxide isomers were detected. In contrast, PC and TG containing DHA at all positions should be avoided, since they were highly oxidized.