Oxidative reactions cause damage to lipids and proteins, thus influencing food quality. For example, oxidation of lipids results in the formation of volatile compounds that cause rancidity, oxidation of pigments (eg, carotenoids and myoglobin) leading to color changes, and oxidation of vitamins (eg, A, C, and E) leading to alterations in nutritional composition. The biological tissue from which we derive foods contains several distinctively different mechanisms to control oxidation catalysts, reactive oxygen species, and free radicals. In addition, many antioxidant additives are available to increase the oxidative stability of foods. Utilization of antioxidant additives and protection of endogenous antioxidants can be effective methods to increase the quality and shelf life of foods.

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