Optimal tocopherol concentrations to inhibit soybean oil oxidation

J. C. Evans, D. R. Kodali, P. B. Addis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The optimal concentration for tocopherols to inhibit soybean oil oxidation was determined for individual tocopherols (α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol) and for the natural soybean oil tocopherol mixture (tocopherol ratio of 1:13:5 for α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol, respectively). The concentration of the individual tocopherols influenced oil oxidation rates, and the optimal concentrations were unique for each tocopherol. For example, the optimal concentrations for α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol were ∼ 100 and ∼ 300 ppm, respectively, whereas δ-tocopherol did not exhibit a distinct concentration optimum at the levels studied (P < 0.05). The optimal concentration for the natural tocopherol mixture ranged between 340 and 660 ppm tocopherols (P < 0.05). The antioxidant activity of the tocopherols diminished when the tocopherol levels exceeded their optimal concentrations. Above their optimal concentrations, the individual tocopherols and the tocopherol mixture exhibited prooxidation behavior that was more pronounced with increasing temperature from 40 to 60°C (P < 0.05). A comparison of the antioxidant activity of the individual tocopherols at their optimal concentrations revealed that α-tocopherol (∼ 100 ppm) was 3-5 times more potent than γ-tocopherol (∼300 ppm) and 16-32 times more potent than δ-tocopherol (∼1900 ppm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported in part by the Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station. We also would like to thank Shelly Melroe for performing the statistical analysis.


  • Concentration
  • Oxidation
  • Soybean oil
  • Temperature
  • α-tocopherol
  • γ-tocopherol
  • δ-tocopherol


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