The application of antioxidant ingredients is one of the most common ways to delay and prevent the detrimental effect of oxygen in foods. Some of the most widely used and studied antioxidants are carboxylic acids, tocopherols and thiol-containing compounds. However, consumer trends towards healthier and safer foods, together with the increasing concern for the potential toxicity of some antioxidants are leading research efforts towards the use of antioxidants obtained from natural sources, such as plant phenols, essential oils and chitosan.
This paper reviews the latest published studies and issued patents on the use of antioxidants agents in foodstuffs. The properties of the most commonly used antioxidants as well as natural antioxidants are revised. Moreover, examples of recent patents on the application of antioxidants to different foodstuffs (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and beverages) are given.