Oxidation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and its Impact on Food Quality and Human Health.
For many years, both preclinical and clinical studies have provided evidences to support the beneficial effects of -3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the prevention of chronic diseases. However, recently, an increasing number of studies reported adverse or contradictory effects of -3 PUFAs on human health.
In fact, oxidation of PUFAs happens frequently during food processing and storage, cooking and even after food ingestion. The free radicals and metabolites generated from PUFA oxidation may adversely affect food quality and shelf life by producing off-flavors and reducing nutritional values. The impact of PUFA oxidation in human health is more complicated, depending on the concentration of products, disease background and targets. This review will introduce different types of PUFA oxidation, discuss its impact on food quality and human health and provide some thoughts for the future research directions.
However, as reviewed by Weylandt et al more recently, there are controversial results regarding to the health efficacy of ω-3 PUFAs. On one hand, the dose and experimental designs may contribute to the variation in results. On the other hand, with the nature of unsaturated bonds, PUFAs are prone to oxidation which generates various metabolites as well as reactive oxygen species. The extent of oxidation and the resulting metabolites may positively or negatively affect the efficacy of PUFAs. This review will introduce different types of PUFA oxidation and discuss the effects of oxidation on food quality and human health.
Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2015;1(6): 135-142. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-1-123