Protection of α-tocopherol in nonpurified and purified fish oil


Menhanden oil was purified by column chromatography to remove minor components. The effect of α-tocopherol (α TOH) (50–500 ppm) on the rate of formation of hydroperoxides in the original menahaden oil and in the purified menhaden triacylglycerol (TAG) fraction was studied at 30°C in the dark. An increase in the initial rate of formation of hydroper-oxides was observed at αTOH concentrations above 100 ppm in both substrates. The original menhaden oil oxidized more rapidly than the purified menhaden, TAG at all antioxidant levels tested, and the presence of minor components in the menhaden oil was found to contribute only to a limited extent to the peroxidizing effect of αTOH. The αTOH did not display any prooxidant activity at either of the concentrations tested when the control oil was the purified menhaden TAG. Addition of ascorbyl palmitate eliminated the initial peroxidizing effect of αTOH, and this emphasizes the participation of the α-toco-pheroxyl radical in the reactions causing an accumulation of hydroperoxides at high concentrations of αTOH.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


  1. 1.

    Kamal-Eldin, A., and L.-Å. Appelqvist, The Chemistry and Antioxidant Properties of Tocopherols and Tocotrienols, Lipids 31: 813–822 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Cillard, J., and P. Cillard, Behavior of Alpha, Gamma, and Delta Tocopherols with Linoleic Acid in Aqueous Media, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 57: 39–42 (1980).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Lambelet, P., and J. Löliger, The Fate of Antioxidant Radicals During Lipid Autoxidation. I. The Tocopheroxyl Radicals, Chem. Phys. Lipids 35: 185–198 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Muggli, R., Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Requirements of Vitamin E, Fat Sci. Technol. 96: 17–19 (1994).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Pokorný, J., Major Factors Affecting the Autoxidation of Lipids, in Autoxidation of Unsaturated Lipids, edited by H.W.-S. Chan, Academic Press, London, 1987, pp. 141–206.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Marinova, E.M., and N.V. Yanishlieva, Effect of Temperature on the Antioxidative Action of Inhibitors in Lipid Autoxidation, J. Sci. Food Agric. 60: 313–318 (1992).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Huang, S.-W., E.N. Frankel, and J.B. German, Antioxidant Activity of α- and γ-Tocopherols in Bulk Oils and in Oil-in-Water Emulsions, J. Agric. Food Chem. 42: 2108–2114 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Jung, M.Y., and D.B. Min, Effects of α, γ- and δ-Tocopherols on Oxidative Stability of Soybean Oil, J. Food Sci. 55: 1464–1465 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Lampi, A.-M., L. Kataja, A. Kamal-Eldin, and V. Piironen, Antioxidant Activities of α- and γ-Tocopherols in the Oxidation of Rapeseed Oil Triacylglycerols, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 76: 749–755 (1999).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Fuster, M.D., A.-M. Lampi, A. Hopia, and A. Kamal-Eldin, Effects of α- and γ-Tocopherols on the Autoxidation of Purified Sunflower Triacylglycerols, Lipids 33: 715–722 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Lampi, A.-M., A. Hopia, P. Ekholm, and V. Piironen, Method for the Preparation of Triacylglycerol Fractions from Rapeseed and Other Oils for Autoxidation Studies, Lebensm. Wiss. Technol. 25: 386–388 (1992).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Sigurgisladottir, S., C.C. Parrish, S.P. Lall, and R.G. Ackman, Effects of Feeding Natural Tocopherols and Astaxanthin on Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Fillet Quality, Food Res. Int. 27: 23–32 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Official Methods and Recommended Practices of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 4th edn., edited by D. Firestone, AOCS Press, Champaign, 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Frankel, E.N., Lipid Oxidation, The Oily Press, Dundee, 1998, pp. 115–128.

  15. 15.

    Lampi, A.-M., and V. Piironen, α-and γ-Tocopherols as Efficient Antioxidants in Butter Oil Triacylglycerols, Fett/Lipid 100: 292–295 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Liebler, D.C., and J.A. Burr, Antioxidant Stoichiometry and the Oxidative Fate of Vitamin E in Peroxyl Radical Scavenging Reactions, Lipids 30: 789–793 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Hopia, A., S.-W. Huang, and E.N. Frankel, Effect of α-Tocopherol and Trolox on the Decomposition of Methyl Linoleate Hydroperoxides, Ibid., 31: 357–365 (1996).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Satue, M.T., S.-W. Huang, and E.N. Frankel, Effect of Natural Antioxidants in Virgin Olive Oil on Oxidative Stability of Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized Olive Oil, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 72: 1131–1137 (1995).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Terao, J., and S. Matsushita, The Peroxidizing Effect of α-Tocopherol on Autoxidation of Methyl Linoleate in Bulk Phase, Lipids 21: 255–260 (1986).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Frankel, E.N., Lipid Oxidation, The Oily Press, Dundee, 1998, pp. 13–22.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Cort, W.M., W. Mergens, and A. Greene, Stability of α- and γ-Tocopherol: Fe3+ and Cu2+ Interactions, J. Food Sci. 43: 797–798 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Odumosu, O.T., and B.J.F. Hudson, Chemical Factors Determining the Catalytic Activity of Iron in the Autoxidation of Edible Oils, J. Sci. Food Agric. 29: 1095 (1978).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Mukai, K., H. Morimoto, Y. Okauchi, and S. Nagaoka, Kinetic Study of Reactions Between Tocopheroxyl Radicas and Fatty Acids, Lipids 28: 753–756 (1993).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Yamauchi, R., K. Kato, and Y. Ueno, Free-Radical Scavenging Reactions of α-Tocopherol During the Autoxidation of Methyl Linoleate in Bulk Phase, J. Agric. Food Chem. 43: 1455–1461 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Murkovic, M., D. Wiltschko, and W. Pfannhauser, Formation of α-Tocopherolquinone and α-Tocopherolquinone Epoxides in Plant Oil, Fett/Lipid 99: 165–169 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Gottstein, T., and W. Grosch, Model Study of Different Antioxidant Properties of α- and γ-Tocopherol in Fats, Fat Sci. Technol. 92: 139–144 (1990).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Liebler, D.C., P.F. Baker, and K.L. Kaysen, Oxidation of Vitamin E: Evidence for Competing Autoxidation and Peroxyl Radical Trapping Reactions of the Tocopheroxyl Radical, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 112: 6995–7000 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Lambelet, P., F. Saucy, and J. Löliger, Chemical Evidence for Interactions Between Vitamins E and C, Experientia 41: 1384–1388 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Cillard, J., and P. Cillard, Inhibitors of the Prooxidant Activity of α-Tocopherol, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 63: 1165–1169 (1986).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elin Kul.

About this article

Cite this article

Kul, E., Ackman, R.G. Protection of α-tocopherol in nonpurified and purified fish oil. J Amer Oil Chem Soc 78, 197–203 (2001).

Download citation

Key Words

  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • autoxidation
  • fish oil
  • menhaden oil
  • α-tocopherol