Lipid Oxidation in Oil-in-Water Emulsions: Impact of Molecular Environment on Chemical Reactions in Heterogeneous Food Systems


  • This research was partially supported by Grant 9901521 from the NRI Competitive Grants Program of the United States Department of Agriculture.


The susceptibility of lipids to oxidation is a major cause of quality deterioration in food emulsions. The reaction mechanism and factors that influence oxidation are appreciably different for emulsified lipids than for bulk lipids. This article reviews the current understanding of the lipid oxidation mechanism in oil-in-water emulsions. It also discusses the major factors that influence the rate of lipid oxidation in emulsions, such as antioxidants, chelating agents, ingredient purity, ingredient partitioning, interfacial characteristics, droplet characteristics, and ingredient interactions. This knowledge is then used to define effective strategies for controlling lipid oxidation in food emulsions.