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Cloves Seen As Potential Source Of Natural Antioxidant For The Food Industry

March 16, 2010: 01:24 AM EST
The shelf life of some foods, especially meats, is limited by lipid (fat) oxidation, which causes deterioration and loss of nutritional value and flavor. To combat this problem, the food industry has been using synthetic antioxidants, whose side effects cause “several undesirable disorders,” according to a study by Spanish scientists. The goal of their research was to find natural spice oil antioxidants that can be incorporated into food products to retard spoilage. Testing several spices associated with the Mediterranean diet, the researchers found that essential oils from cloves have the highest amounts of phenols, and worked the best at preventing oxidative activity. Other spices tested were oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage, each of which exhibited at least some antioxidant properties.
Manuel Viuda-Martos, Yolanda Ruiz Navajas, et al. , "Antioxidant activity of essential oils of five spice plants widely used in a Mediterranean diet", Flavour and Fragrance Journal, March 16, 2010, © John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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