Lipophilization of dihydrocaffeic acid affects its antioxidative properties in fish‐oil‐enriched emulsions

Ann-Dorit Moltke Sørensen, Nina Skall Nielsen, Zhiyong Yang, Xuebing Xu, Charlotte Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antioxidative effect of lipophilized dihydrocaffeic acid, i.e., octyl dihydrocaffeate and oleyl dihydrocaffeate. Furthermore, the relationship between the measured efficacy of the antioxidants in emulsions, their partitioning into different phases of an emulsion system and their in vitro antioxidant properties was also evaluated. Lipid oxidation in the emulsions was affected by the antioxidants applied. Thus, despite a reduced antioxidant activity of lipophilized dihydrocaffeic acid in the antioxidant assays, lipophilized dihydrocaffeic acid was more efficient than caffeic and dihydrocaffeic acids. Octyl dihydrocaffeate had a significantly higher antioxidative effect than oleyl dihydrocaffeate in emulsions. The results partly supported the polar paradox hypothesis, since lipophilized compounds resulted in increased oxidative stability. However, the decreased antioxidative efficacy with increasing alkyl chain length esterified to dihydrocaffeic acid supported a newly suggested cut‐off effect hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that when a certain level of hydrophobicity is obtained for lipophilized phenolic acids, the ester forms micelles in the aqueous phase rather than being located at the interface or oil phase. This phenomenon is suggested to explain the reduced antioxidant activity of oleyl dihydrocaffeate compared with octyl dihydrocaffeate. Practical application: The finding that lipophilization of phenolic compounds increase their efficacy opens up new possibilities for producing new and more efficient antioxidants for food systems. However, the results also show that optimization of the chain length for each type of phenolic compound may be necessary. Since these compounds may have a much higher efficacy against lipid oxidation a lower amount of antioxidant will be necessary to obtain the same effect. This would decrease the costs. In addition, the use of synthetic antioxidants, that might have toxic effect in vivo, can be avoided. The raw materials used for the lipophilized compounds are natural compounds, however the fate of the lipophilized compounds in vivo should eventually be evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)134-145
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Partitioning
  • o/w Emulsion
  • Lipid oxidation
  • In vitro antioxidant assays
  • Caffeic acid


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