Free radicals arising from lipid peroxides accelerate the oxidative deterioration of foods. To elucidate how lipid peroxides impact oxidative reactions in food emulsions, the stability of cumene hydroperoxide was studied in hexadecane or trilaurin emulsions stabilized by anionic (sodium dodecyl sulfate; SDS), nonionic (Tween 20), and cationic (dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide; DTAB) surfactants. Fe(2+) rapidly (within 10 min) decomposed between 10 and 31% of the cumene hydroperoxide in Tween 20- and DTAB-stabilized emulsions at pH 3.0 and 7.0 and in the SDS-stabilized emulsion at pH 7.0 with no further decomposition of peroxides occurring for up to 3 h. In SDS-stabilized emulsions at pH 3.0, Fe(2+) decreased peroxides by 90% after 3 h. Decomposition of peroxides in the absence of added iron and by Fe(3+) was observed only in SDS-stabilized emulsions at pH 3.0. These results suggest that peroxide decomposition by iron redox cycling occurs when iron emulsion droplet interactions are high.
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