• lycopene;
  • oxidation;
  • carotenes;
  • antioxidants


The stability and antioxidant effectiveness of lycopene, a-carotene, and b-carotene were compared during oxidation of methyl linoleate at 37 and 60 °C. Two carotene concentrations, 80 or 160 mg/g of methyl linoleate, were used to determine a concentration effect. At 37 °C, the degradation rates were: lycopene > β-carotene > α-carotene. Lycopene and α-carotene inhibited hydroperoxide formation, lycopene being the more effective antioxidant. β-Carotene inhibited hydroperoxide formation at the lower concentration but did not show an antioxidant effect at the higher concentration. At 60 °C, the carotenes degraded 6 to 8 times faster than at 37 °C and did not show an antioxidant effect. BHT or α-tocopherol effectively suppressed the hydroperoxide formation and degradation of the carotenes.