Lipid hydrolysis and oxidation occurred in Argopecten irradians adductor muscle during hot air drying. Using an in vivo imaging system, we found that antioxidants of bamboo leaves (AOB) could diffuse into the adductor muscle upon marinating. Both tea polyphenols (TP) and AOB efficiently retarded lipid oxidation but had a slight effect on lipid hydrolysis during drying process. The in situ antioxidant mechanisms of AOB as well as TP were revealed, including quenching of free radicals detected by electron spin resonance, chelating metal ions determined by confocal laser scanning microscopy and inhibiting lipoxygenase. Less than 8% of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in AOB and TP marinated adductor muscle were decreased compared to more than 28% decrease in control adductor muscle during the drying process. Overall, these natural antioxidants, TP and AOB, efficiently maintained high nutritive value of adductor muscle, especially, their lipid quality.