November 15, 2020

Lipid oxidation

Lipids play a vital role in the metabolism of cells by providing a source of energy to the biological processes of the body and reserve storage materials. Lipids contain a large number of substances such as essential fatty acids or fat-soluble vitamins that can only be provided by the diet.

Lipid oxidation has been long been recognized as a major problem in the storage of fatty acids in foods. Oxidation occurs by several molecular mechanisms such as generation of reactive oxygen precursors and free radicals.

Free-radical chain reactions are thermodynamically favorable, and as a result, evolutionary selection has strongly influenced the chemistry, metabolism and structure of biological cells to prevent these reactions kinetically. However, the loss of native structure and the death of cells can dramatically accelerate the deteriorative reactions of lipid oxidation.

As lipids oxidize, they form hydroperoxides, which are susceptible to further oxidation or decomposition to secondary reaction products such as aldehydes, ketones, acids and alcohols.

Oxidative changes can cause rancidity such as off flavors, off-odor, loss of color, changes in texture, altered nutrient value, and may produce toxic compounds, which can influence consumer acceptance also detrimental to their health. The acceptability of a food product depends on the extent to which this deterioration has occurred.

Lipid oxidation products have mutagenic, carcinogenic and cytotoxic properties and considered to be risk factor for human health. Several authors conclude that one of the most important problems of lipid oxidation is the generation of harmful compounds that implicate several human pathologies, including atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammation and aging processes, among others.

Antioxidants and chelating agents are the most helpful inhibitors of lipid oxidation.
Lipid oxidation

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