The stability of vegetable oils in relation to oxidation depends on the balance between the composition and the presence of antioxidants and pro-oxidants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the presence of antioxidants in vegetable oils in the protection of photo-oxidation. Samples of canola oil and corn oil in the presence and absence of the antioxidants, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHA), propyl gallate (PG) and tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), were subjected to photo-oxidative stress at room temperature for 60 days. The photo-oxidation reaction followed a first order kinetics. The rate constant for the period of 20 days of photo-oxidation showed that the PG antioxidant showed greater protective effect for canola oil and TBHQ showed a greater protective effect for corn oil. The UV and ¹H NMR data at 60 days showed that the three antioxidants had a protective effect on photo-oxidation. The UV data showed increased absorption at the 232nm band due to photo-oxidation and the formation of conjugated dienes. The reduction in intensity of this absorption band in photo-oxidation with time of exposure revealed that the protection, both for the canola oil and for the corn oil, was more effective with the PG antioxidant. The rates of Roa oxidation and residual fraction of diallyl, allyl and vinyl hydrogens also showed that the PG antioxidant showed the best performance in protecting both oils.
vegetable oils; synthetic antioxidants; photo-oxidation; UV spectroscopy; ¹H NMR