Information anti-oxidants

DoreenDoreen Member
edited April 2018 in Formulating
Today I came across information about anti-oxidants I'd like to share with you. It's from a supplier, so there may be exaggeration to some extent.

- α-tocopherol can be pro oxidative in higher %, γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol are not;
- dl-α-tocopherol acetate doesn't have anti-oxidative activity;
- BHT and BHA are 'reasonably effective' and gamma/delta tocopherols have 'high anti-oxidant activity'. I always thought this was the other way around?
Perhaps someone can shed some light on this? (p.s. supplier sells tocopherols as well as BHT and BHA);
Synergy tocopherol - ascorbyl palmitate;
- Synergy tocopherol/ascorbyl palmitate with rosemary extract.

A lot of facts also depend on type of oil and system (e.g. emulsion, oil blend)

I have one question, anyone feel free to answer. :-)

- Can you use BHT and tocopherol together in the same emulsion?


  • @Doreen I have a few questions.

    (1) Is you understanding of 'in-can' protection a definition of adding/spiking  a bulk raw material with an antioxidant while in inventory storage?  Say a drum of Safflower Oil is spiked with an Anti-oxidant after opening to help keep the remaining bulk of the Safflower Oil Fresh as it is slowly partitioned in production batching?

    (2) What is your understanding of Tocopheryl Acetate USP aka DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate.   I'm in a bit of a quandary on what temperature to commit to adding it to my formulas.   The BASF Tech Data Sheet always has it added at the back end below 40C with preservatives and fragrance.

    I personally always thought of it as an oil and best put in the hot oil phase.  But I think it might work against me in some cases (i.e. Hair Conditioner vs. Massage Cream vs. Anti-Aging Lotion)

    Any literate or tech sheets you might be able to point to would be greatly appreciated.

    Best of Luck

  • Hello everybody,

    @Doreen, studies showed that the best tocopherol is the γ-tocopherol, for several reasons (they are discussed in detail in this article: γ-Tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the US diet, deserves more attention.

    as for the synergy between BHT and vitamin E, in some conditions it ca be found, but in most conditions they have a degrading effect on each other. (Dramatic solvent effect on the synergy between a-tocopherol and BHT

    @DiamondD, you should be careful about in-can protection, because some suppliers already add some antioxidants, and if you add your own they might actually accelerate the oxidization process. so it is better to check with the supplier beforehand, and double check the antioxidant you want to add, because they all have an optimal percentage to do the job.

  • DoreenDoreen Member
    @DiamondD @ChemicalPyros
    This is awkward, I haven't seen your replies until now?! I'm sorry for not responding earlier!  :o

    1. Exactly, that is how I see 'in-can' protection too.
    2. I have the exact same problem!! I used to put it in the cool down, but then I saw several formulations that put it in the heated oil phase.
    Somewhere I have read about stability of vitamins, I'll search for it again, regarding heat, vitamin E stood under 'unstable'. If it's true I don't know and I also don't know for which forms this counts.

    Thanks for the information on γ-tocopherol and  your answer on BHT and vitamin E. I had read that too somewhere, that these can degrade eachother (yellow discoloration?), but I have seen several formulations where both were added.

    Thanks, both of you! If I find documents etc about it, I'll come back with these. If you have any documents/links etc. feel free to share!
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