Autoxidation of Fats and Oils


Products that contain fats and oils turn rancid and deteriorate in other ways when they arc exposed to air. The action^ known as autoxidation, imparts disagreeable flavors and odors to fats and foods containing them. For a long time baffled investigators spent a vast amount of effort trying to find ways to prevent autoxidation. Specifically, the basic problem was the mechanism of autoxidation—how oxygen attacks a fat. On that point the investigators made several discoveries in 1943. They have developed moderately efí'cctive methods of preventing rancidification, and believe now that the solution of the problem is in sight. It is important to prevent autoxidation because fat and fat-containing foods valued at several billion dollars are produced and marketed annually. The oil, meat, fishery, dairy, and bakery industries suffer serious losses from autoxidation of their products. Rancidification was an important economic and military problem during the First and Second World Wars, although many modern scientific practices reduced the frequency of its occurrence. Measures that were moderately effective in preserving civilian foods availed little for food that had to be transported long distances and stored in unfavorable climates. In different fats, and under different conditions, autoxidation produces tallowy, painty, burned, fishy, grassy, and

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Swift2010AutoxidationOF, title={Autoxidation of Fats and Oils}, author={Curtis E. Swift and F. G. Dollear}, year={2010} }