Prepared Foods October 31, 2005 e-newsletter

The potent alkylperoxyl radical scavenger in crude canola oil, canolol, is more potent than other well-known antioxidants, according to research.

"Alkylhydroperoxides in oxidized oil are undesirable components, because they become alkylperoxyl radicals (ROO) in the presence of heme, hemoglobin or myoglobin in red meat. ROO are biochemically reactive and damage nucleic acids and proteins, thereby harming living cells," researchers in Japan report.

"We isolated a component, a highly potent ROO scavenger, from crude canola oil (rapeseed), which we designated canolol, and identified its chemical structure, 4-vinyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenol," wrote D. Wakamatsu and colleagues, Sojo University in Kumamoto.

"The canolol content of crude canola oil greatly increased after the seed was roasted as compared with that from unroasted seed," they found, "but it decreased in highly purified oil. This anti-ROO activity was highest in crude oil, deceased after each refining step and was lowest in highly purified refined oil. Canolol was, thus, generated during roasting."

"As shown previously, canolol is one of the most potent anti-ROO components in crude canola oil," concluded the investigators, "and its potency is much greater than that of well-known antioxidants, including alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, beta-carotene, rutin and quercetin."

Wakamatsu and colleagues published their study in Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry (“Isolation, Identification, and Structure of a Potent Alkylperoxyl Radical Scavenger in Crude Canola Oil, Canolol.” Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2005;69(8):1568-1574).

For additional information, contact H. Maeda, Sojo University, Faculty Pharmaceutical Science, Laboratory Microbiology & Oncology, 22-1, Ikeda 4-Chome, Kumamoto 8600082, Japan.