Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone (TBHQ) is an antioxidant and is procured by artificial synthesis and is specifically used for stabilizing and preventing Rancidification of edible fats and oils whether vegetable or animal based. It is very widely applied for increasing the shelf-life of these oils and fats. Although a natural antioxidant called Tocopherol already exists in almost all kinds of vegetable oils and fats. It has negligible potential to offer stabilization of the product.
It makes no difference on adding Tocopherol externally to enhance the shelf-life of the product. These fats and oils require synthetic antioxidants. TBHQ and Propyl Gallate are the highly valuable for this purpose as compared to other types of artificial anti-oxidants. Yet, TBHQ is more preferred than Propyl Gallate as it does not discolor in the presence of Iron.
TBHQ very ideally preserves unsaturated fats especially polyunsaturated vegetable oils and inedible animal fats. They are more appropriate for saturated fats, nuts, essential oils and food packaging material as well. It is also a healthier alternative for these types of fat and oils.
Specification of TBHQ :
TBHQ antioxidant has excellent solubility in fats and oils. It can be applied by the basic techniques in general use for applying antioxidants to fats & fatty foods. The basic thing that is to be kept in mind for enhancing the application of anti-oxidants is that it should be fully dissolved and dispersed in the substance they are dissolved. This ultimately affects the property of stabilization. This can be done in a few methods such as: