Effect of oxidation reactions in everyday life

 Effect of oxidation reactions in everyday life

 Effect of oxidation reactions in everyday life

There are two common effects of oxidation reactions that we observed in daily life. These are:

  1. Corrosion of metals
  2. Rancidity of food

Corrosion: The surface of the metal is attacked by air and water and other substance it is a redox reaction. Rusting of iron metal is a common form of corrosion.

        4 Fe + 3 O 2 +2 X H 2 O ─────>  2 Fe 2 O 3 .X H 2 O

       Rusting of iron is a redox reaction.




Rancidity of Food: It is the process of slow oxidation of fat and oil present in the food materials resulting in the change of smell and taste in them. In other words, The spoilage of food by oxidation, it smells, taste changes known as rancidity.

Antioxidants: Antioxidant is used as preservatives in fat-containing foods to delay the onset or slow the development of rancidity due to oxidation reaction.

  • Natural antioxidants include ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tocopherol (vitamin E).
  • Synthetic antioxidants include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallant, and ethoxyquin.

The development of rancidity of food can be prevented in the following ways:

  1. It can be prevented by adding anti-oxidants to foods containing fats and oils.
  2. It can be retarded by storing foods away from light.
  3. Rancidity can be prevented by packaging fat and oil-containing foods in nitrogen gas.
  4. It can be retarded by keeping food in a refrigerator.
  5. It can be retarded by storing food in air-tight containers.

When fats and oils oxidized, they become rancid, and their smell and taste change.

To prevent spoilage of food special types of substances called antioxidants are added to fatty foods to prevent oxidation that is chips are packed in nitrogen gas which prevents spoilage of chips by oxidation. The oxidation process slowed down by reducing the temperature. The food is kept in the refrigerator to slow down the process of oxidation.


Oxygen scavenging technology: It can be used to remove oxygen from packaging and therefore prevent oxidative rancidification.

Oxidative stability instrument ( O S I ): It is a measure of oil or fat resistance to oxidation.

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