Antioxidants



Antioxidants

An antioxidant is a substance that prevents or slows down the damage of cells caused by unstable molecules and free radicals that the body produces in reaction to environmental and other pressures [1]. They are also used as food additives that increase food shelf-life and protect food against oxidation, which is one of the reasons that cause deterioration for food. 





To understand the working mechanism of the Antioxidants, we have to understand our body composed of atoms that could be nötr, positively, or negatively charged. They must contain the right amount of electrons for a molecule to be stable. If a molecule loses electrons, they turn into a free radical, and these unstable free radicals can react with other molecules and can damage the body. An antioxidant can give an electron to the free radical to neutralize it [1].





Antioxidants could be natural and synthetic. Tocopherols (Vitamin E) and lycopene are examples of natural antioxidants; tomato or its products, watermelon, grapefruit, apricot, and cherry are examples of major sources of natural antioxidants. Sodium salts of erythorbic acid and phenols are examples of synthetic antioxidants [2].


As a food additive, antioxidants add to the food to prevent changes in color, odor, and taste due to oxidation. Oxidation is a reaction occurring between food compounds and oxygen molecules in the air. The amounts of additives limitations have been determined by the European Safety Authority (EFSA) since 2003. If these are used authorized amounts, there are no risks to the human body.[3] 

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CONTENT: Tamer Yiğit ALEMDAR

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REFERENCES


[1] Halliwell, B. (1995). Antioxidant characterization: methodology and mechanism. Biochemical pharmacology, 49(10), 1341-1348.


[2]Atta, E. M., Mohamed, N. H., & Abdelgawad, A. A. (2017). Antioxidants: An overview on the natural and synthetic types. Eur. Chem. Bull, 6, 365-375.


[3] Silva, M. M., & Lidon, F. C. (2016). An overview on applications and side effects of antioxidant food additives. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, 823-832.