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Antioxidants have a variety of uses in the industry. They are most commonly used as food preservatives and supplements. The industrial and other uses of antioxidants can be summarized as follows.
Antioxidants are used to retard the oxidation of an organic substance. This increases the useful life or shelf life of that material.
For example, in fats and oils, antioxidants delay the onset of oxidation or slow the rate of oxidizing reactions. Fats and oils commonly spoil as oxidation of the lipids cause production of compounds that lead to different odors and taste and continue to affect other molecules in the food. These foods spoil due to exposure to oxygen and sunlight that lead to oxidation of food.
Foods can be preserved by keeping in the dark and sealing it in containers or even coating it in wax, as with cucumbers. However, if the plant products are stored without oxygen that is vital for their respiration, it may lead to unpleasant flavors and unappealing colors. Thus packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables contains around 8% oxygen atmosphere. This may cause oxidant mediated oxidative damage.
The main purpose of using an antioxidant as a food additive is to maintain the quality of that food and to extend its shelf life rather than improving the quality of the food. Antioxidants are an especially important class of preservatives. Unlike bacterial or fungal spoilage of food, oxidative damage can occur even in refrigerated and sealed food items. Antioxidants can prevent this type of food spoilage.
These preservatives include natural antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (AA, E300) and tocopherols (E306), as well as synthetic antioxidants such as propyl gallate (PG, E310), tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA, E320) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, E321).
Some of the fats such as olive oil are partially protected from oxidation by their natural content of antioxidants, but remain sensitive to photooxidation or oxidative damage by light.
Antioxidant preservatives are also added to fat-based cosmetics such as lipstick and moisturizers to prevent rancidity. In addition, use of antioxidants also reduces the wastage of raw materials and widens the range of fats that can be used in speciﬁc products.
Several industrial products contain antioxidants. Some of these include:
The breakdown leads to ozonolysis or cracking. Ozone cracking is especially damaging to elastomers such as natural rubber, polybutadiene and other double-bonded rubbers. They can be protected by antiozonants. Others include polypropylene and polyethylene.
|AO-22||N||Turbine oils, transformer oils, hydraulic fluids, waxes, and greases|
|AO-29||2||Turbine oils, transformer oils, hydraulic fluids, waxes, greases, and gasolines|
|AO-30||2||Jet fuels and gasolines, including aviation gasolines|
|AO-31||2,4-dimethyl-6-tert-butylphenol||Jet fuels and gasolines, including aviation gasolines|
|AO-32||2,4-dimethyl-6-tert-butylphenol and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol||Jet fuels and gasolines, including aviation gasolines|
|AO-37||2||Jet fuels and gasolines, widely approved for aviation fuels|