Antioxidant Evaluation in Dessert Spices Compared With Common Food Additives. Influence of Irradiation Procedure
The antioxidant properties of seven dessert spices (anise, cinnamon, ginger, licorice, mint, nutmeg, and vanilla) were compared with those of the common food antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) (E-320), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (E-321), and propyl gallate (E-310). The influence of irradiation process on antioxidant activity was also evaluated. Mint and cinnamon exhibited a higher percentage of inhibition of oxidation than the other spices analyzed and the food antioxidants, as tested by the lipid peroxidation assay (LOO*). Nutmeg, anise, and licorice showed the strongest protection in the deoxyribose assay (OH*). Vanilla exhibited the highest antioxidant activity in the peroxidase-based assay (H2O2). Nutmeg, propyl gallate, ginger, and licorice improved the stability of oils (sunflower, corn, and olive) and fats (butter and margarine) against oxidation (110 degrees C Rancimat). Cinnamon was a better superoxide radical scavenger than the other analyzed spices and additives. When the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay was used to provide a ranking order of antioxidant activity, the result in decreasing order of antioxidant capacity was cinnamon approximately equal to propyl gallate > mint > anise > BHA > licorice approximately equal to vanilla > ginger > nutmeg > BHT. Irradiated samples did not show significant differences (p < 0.05) in the antioxidant activity with respect to the non-irradiated samples (1, 3, 5, and 10 kGy) in the assays used.