Interactions between iron, phenolic compounds, emulsifiers, and pH in omega-3-enriched oil-in-water emulsions

Ann-Dorit Moltke Sørensen, Anne-Mette Haahr, E.M. Becker, L.H. Skibsted, B. Bergenstahl, Lilian Nilsson, Charlotte Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The behavior of antioxidants in emulsions is influenced by several factors such as pH and emulsifier type. This study aimed to evaluate the interaction between selected food emulsifiers, phenolic compounds, iron, and pH and their effect on the oxidative stability of n-3 polyunsaturated lipids in a 10% oil-in-water emulsion. The emulsifiers tested were Tween 80 and Citrem, and the phenolic compounds were naringenin, rutin, caffeic acid, and coumaric acid. Lipid oxidation was evaluated at all levels, that is, formation of radicals (ESR), hydroperoxides (PV), and secondary volatile oxidation products. When iron was present, the pH was crucial for the formation of lipid oxidation products. At pH 3 some phenolic compounds, especially caffeic acid, reduced Fe3+ to Fe2+, and Fe2+ increased lipid oxidation at this pH compared to pH 6. Among the evaluated phenols, caffeic acid had the most significant effects, as caffeic acid was found to be prooxidative irrespective of pH, emulsifier type, and presence of iron, although the degrees of lipid oxidation were different at the different experimental conditions. The other evaluated phenols were prooxidative at pH 3 in Citrem-stabilized emulsions and had no significant effect at pH 6 in Citrem- or Tween-stabilized emulsions on the basis of the formation of volatiles. The results indicated that phenol-iron complexes/nanoparticles were formed at pH 6.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1740-1750
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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