SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Chemicals for Consumers (Part 6)

by BerryBerryTeacher

in Berry Reference (Notes)

Antioxidants are added to food as food additives to act as preservatives. This prolonged the edible period of food and retain its nutrient by inhibiting the effects of oxygens on food (oxidation), which is directly beneficial to human health. Natural antioxidants may include ascorbic acid and tocopherols, while common synthetic antioxidants include TBHQ, BHA and BHT.

This Berry Berry Easy notes, Part 6 of notes on Chemicals for Consumers for SPM Chemistry Form 5 is on antioxidants for food. Here, you’ll learn about the common antioxidant used, their functions, examples and side effects.

[Tips: Food oxidation often occur on molecules of unsaturated fats. The oxidation of unsaturated fat causes change in odour and flavour, making it unpleasant to be eaten (said to be rancid).

For smart Berry Readers who can link food oxidation to metal catalyst, you'll know that metals often catalyse the oxidation process. Hence, fats (such as butter) which are commonly oxidised, should not be kept in metal containers or wrapped in aluminium wrappers. For those who knew this before reading this, you will have no problem scoring in your SPM Chemistry examinations.]

SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Chemicals for Consumers (Part 6)

Grapeseed Oil Nutritional Information

Food Additives

B. Antioxidant


  • prevent oxidation (causes rancid fats and brown fruits)


Antioxidant Functions Example Side effect
Vitamin E Prevent oils from turns rancid Palm oil & sunflower oil No
Vitamin C Preserve the colour of fruit juice and the formation of nitrosamines Fruit juice & cured meat No
Sodium citrate Stop rancidity in fats Ice-cream -
BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) Retard rancidity in fats, oils and oil-containing foods Margarine & cereal Carcinogenic

This marks the end of this post. In the next part, Part 7 of ntoes on Chemicals for Consumers by Berry Berry Easy for SPM Form 5 Chemistry is on food flavouring under food additives. Do this this part and the previous introductory post on food additives before moving on to the next part. :-)

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