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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Lipid oxidation in foods is vastly studied and yet less is known about lipid oxidation mechanisms in low-moisture food systems. Low-moisture foods are comprised of almost all snacks. Most of these snacks are baked or deep-fried foods consisting of a major chunk of saturated fat in consumers’ diets. Therefore, the goal is to improve the nutritional profile of these products to ultimately deliver a healthy product to the consumer. Replacing saturated fats with healthy unsaturated fatty acids is a challenge the food industry faces daily due to oxidative stability.

This study aims to mimic and optimize the industrial cracker model system using interesterified soybean oil to understand the oxidative stability of the system and to apply various antioxidant strategies proven to be efficient in other lipid-based systems. Effects of tocopherols, phosphatidylethanolamine and myricetin on lipid oxidation of the model crackers were studied. The effects of the number of antioxidation concentration combinations such as mixed tocopherols with phosphatidylethanolamine and mixed tocopherols with myricetin were evaluated.

Application of 2000 micromol PE/kg of cracker in ISO crackers was observed to be the most stable. The addition of mixed tocopherols in the range of 500- 5000 micromol/kg cracker to the system resulted in faster oxidation rates as the concentration increased, possibly due to the endogenous tocopherols in ISO. To eliminate these endogenous compounds, further experiments were conducted using stripped ISO. In crackers prepared with stripped ISO, it was observed that higher concentrations of PE combined with lower concentrations of mixed tocopherols are more effective in delaying lipid oxidation than vice versa. A primary study testing myricetin functionality as an antioxidant in model crackers was conducted along with a mixed tocopherol, at a concentration of 500 micromol/kg of cracker for each antioxidant. The data demonstrated myricetin was effective in its antioxidant activity individually and in combination with tocopherols. It was a functional antioxidant in model crackers and a viable option to explore future antioxidant strategies in low-moisture food systems.

First Advisor

Eric A. Decker