Carlo Schillaci, Ridvan Nepravishta, Alessia Bellomaria


In this work we provide a general overview about the natural and synthetic antioxidants and studies carried out to improve their potential. These compounds are able to scavenge free radicals that cause deterioration of food and pharmaceutical products during processing and storage. Today there are several known natural compounds with antioxidant properties that are extracted from plants, which are mainly phenols and polyphenols. The limit for the use of these compounds in the food and pharmaceutical industry as antioxidants concerns their poor solubility in hydrophobic environment. This limitation was overcame in the past years by the introduction of synthetic antioxidants, such as BHA (butylated hidroxy anisole), BHT (butylated hydroxyl toluene), TBHQ (tert butyl hydroquinone) and PG (propyl gallate). Unfortunately several authors showed that BHA, BHT, TBHQ and PG may present adverse effects on the health of living organisms. In recent years novel antioxidants have been synthesized from natural polyphenols in order to modify the hydrophilicity/lipophilicity balance and increase their biological functionalities arising from insertion of new functional groups or molecule moieties in pre-existing natural polyphenols. The aim of these modifications was to avoid the major adverse effects associated with the use of BHT, BHA, TBHQ and PG.


Polyphenols; tert butyl hydroquinone; butylated hidroxy anisole; butylated hydroxyl toluene; propyl gallate

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Copyright (c) 2014 Carlo Schillaci

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