Oregano and Rosemary Extracts Inhibit Oxidation of Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids in Menhaden Oil



ABSTRACT:  Capabilities of methanol extracts from oregano and rosemary in retarding oxidation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid C22:6 (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid C20:5 (EPA), in menhaden oil were investigated. The fish oils after mixing with the extracts at different concentrations were oxidized in an accelerated study by heating at 150 °C for 30 min or incubating at 60 °C for 5 d. After heating at 150 °C, only 15.9% of DHA and 18.5% of EPA remained in the fish oil without extract, while 38.8% to 65.9% of DHA and 44.7% to 69.0% of EPA were retained in the fish oil mixed with 1% to 5% of oregano extract. The highest retained DHA (56.9%) and EPA (58.0%) in the fish oils mixed with rosemary extract were observed at 2.5% addition. Increasing rosemary extract to 5% lowered its capability of inhibiting DHA and EPA oxidation. After incubation at 60 °C for 5 d, the highest inhibition capability was also found at 2.5% of added rosemary extract, and the oil retained 88.2% DHA and 88.3% EPA. However, only 18.8% DHA and 23.6% EPA were retained in the fish oil mixed with 5% of oregano extract and no DHA and EPA were detected in the fish oil without extract after 5-d incubation at 60 °C. Thus, antioxidant activity of the rosemary extract was greater than that of oregano extract, but was sensitive to heat. The rosemary extract also demonstrated higher DPPH (2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) free radical scavenging capability, which was approximately 3 times higher than oregano extract, although there was no significant difference in the total phenolic contents between both extracts.