Frequently Asked Questions
What is Shelf-life?
Shelf-life is defined as “the period of time during which the food product will remain safe; be certain to retain its desired sensory, chemical, physical, microbiological, and functional characteristics; where appropriate, comply with any label declaration of nutrition data, when stored under the recommended conditions.”
What is Oxidation?
Oxidation is a reaction that takes place when oxygen has access to products containing fat or pigments.
How does oxidation affect Shelf-life?
When fats oxidise, they produce “off” odours and flavours (stale, rancid odours). Often, if fats oxidise, vitamins also oxidise and lose their activity. When pigments oxidise, they can change colour completely.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances used to preserve food by retarding deterioration, rancidity, or discoloration due to oxidation. Antioxidants gets to oxidise themselves to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules.
Where are antioxidants applied?
All food & beverages, cosmetic & personal care applications and feed and petfood applications will need antioxidants for shelf-life stability. Different antioxidants maybe required for different applications depending on the antioxidant activity, level of refinement, solubility, format for mode of application, label claims and sustainability factors.
What are natural anti-oxidants?
Natural anti-oxidants are substances (plants) found in nature that are said to possess anti-oxidation properties. Some of the most commonly available natural anti-oxidants are
- One of the first liposoluble herb based anti-oxidant to be isolated from plants. Due to their high concentration and habitual presence in vegetable oils, such as soybean or sunflower oil, Tocopherols are known as the most common anti-oxidant in nature. This herb based anti-oxidant mainly exists as a combination of 4 isomers Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Numerous studies have proved that the antioxidant property of shelf life enhancement lies in the Gamma and Delta isomers.
– Another herb based anti-oxidant, it is an extract obtained from the herb Rosemary using solvents suitable for consumption. Carnosic Acid, Carnosol and Rosmarinic Acid are the 3 main components that provide its natural anti-oxidant property.
What are Synthetic or Artificial Anti-oxidants and how does it affect our health?
Synthetic antioxidants unlike natural anti-oxidants, are composed using chemical compounds. They help in longer shelf life enhancement but at the same time could lead to health concerns. Some of the most commonly used artificial anti-oxidants are:
BHT / BHA
- These compounds are termed as phenolic anti-oxidants and are capable of stabilising free radicals by isolating them and preventing chain reactions. BHA is primarily used for food preservatives whereas BHT is a synthetic variant of vitamin E and can be found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, petroleum products etc. Unlike natural preservatives, these anti-oxidants are said to be carcinogenic.
- Another anti-oxidant that is commonly used in vegetable oils and animal fats. It is heat-stable and is considered an effective anti-oxidant in the prevention of oxidation of frying oil. This is also considered to be harmful for health and is known to cause visual impairments, neurotoxic effects that can lead to paralysis.
Ascorbic Acid - A white crystalline powder used to stabilise beverages, fruits and vegetables. This additive acts as a natural anti-oxidant through the removal of oxygen, the reduction of free radicals and the regeneration of primary anti-oxidants. It is considered to be safe as a food additive and does not have any usage limitations.
Why are Rosemary Extracts preferred as a natural antioxidant?
Rosemary Extracts contain naturally fat-soluble and water-soluble antioxidant molecules. Carnosic acid, the fat-soluble, antioxidant molecule in rosemary has been proven to have higher antioxidant power than natural mixed tocopherols.
Also, being mostly wildly grown in the Mediterranean region, rosemary is non-GMO and has minimal risk of contamination from pesticides and pollutants. It is also available in large quantities for industrial extraction and use.
What is OxiKan?
Kancor, a pioneer in providing natural ingredient solutions since 1969, has come up with OxiKan – a range of natural anti-oxidants extracted from the finest of rosemary to tackle oxidation.
How is OxiKan different from other Rosemary Extracts in the Market?
Rosemary extracts, when used as an anti-oxidant, imparts flavour, aroma and colour to the end application. This poses a challenge to many manufacturers. Kancor addressed these challenges by developing a range of OxiKan products that has no impact on the colour, odour or flavour of the end application.
Also, many food manufacturers find it difficult to replace leading synthetic antioxidants with rosemary extracts due to the high dosages required. Kancor addressed these challenges by developing a range of OxiKan products with very high antioxidant activity and thermal stability. These variants can outperform synthetic antioxidants in various applications.
Kancor provides a wide range of OxiKan variants for different end applications.
Is OxiKan an effective natural preservative for fresh meat?
Prone to surface oxidation, the best way to retain freshness and shelf life enhancement of meat is by topical application of antioxidants. However, natural anti-oxidant solutions like rosemary extracts contain lipid soluble colour components that lend a yellow colouration to the meat fat, which can be misconstrued as spoilage by consumers. Unlike other commercially available rosemary extracts, OxiKan, a highly refined enriched natural anti-oxidant, prolongs the shelf life without impacting colour or odour.
Does the herb based antioxidant, OxiKan, work effectively on packaged foods that are cooked under high temperatures?
Foods processed under high temperature conditions face accelerated oxidation, and a much shorter shelf-life. However, this natural preservative, Kancor’s unique enriched extract of selective antioxidant molecules of rosemary, is more potent than other synthetic and natural anti-oxidants; it efficiently stabilises packaged foods and aids in the shelf life enhancement.
What kind of products can herb based anti-oxidants like OxiKan be applied on for shelf life enhancement?
Kancor’s highly refined multi-purpose, high performance, colourless and flavourless natural herb-based anti-oxidant solutions, OxiKan, offers a wide range of natural antioxidant solutions suitable for different product applications. It can be used for shelf life enhancement of seasonings, packaged foods, baked foods, fats and edible oils, flavouring ingredients, meat, poultry and seafood, cosmetic & personal care products etc. It works as a natural preservative. Available in both liquid and powder format, this herb based anti-oxidant is also suitable for food processed under high heat.