Lipid oxidation is the main chemical process affecting mayonnaise deterioration. Today, essential oils from aromatic plants have been qualified as natural antioxidants and proposed as potential substitutes of synthetic antioxidants in food products. In this research, antioxidant activity of Achillea millefolium essential oil was determined based on oxidative stability of treated mayonnaise (homogenized) during 6 months of storage at 4°C. The following analysis were performed: peroxide value (PV), anisidine value (AV), Totox value and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) to assess the extent of oil deterioration. Mayonnaise samples were divided into three experimental treatments, namely: E.O (essential oil in concentrations: 3.83, 5.85 and 7.2 mg/ml), T (TBHQ in concentration: 0.12 mg/ml) and C (control: no antioxidant). Subsequently, the samples from each treatment were stored at 4 oC. The results showed that the treatments containing essential oil and TBHQ significantly reduced the oxidation (p < 0.05), while the control sample was oxidized faster. Among the essential oils, concentrations of 5.85 and 7.2 mg/ml showed the best antioxidant activity. PV, TBA, AV and totox values increased during the storage time for all treatments. Our results suggest that essential oil of Achillea millefolium has potential source of natural antioxidant for the application in food industries to prevent lipid oxidation particularly lipid-containing foods such as mayonnaise, due to its reaction with oxidative free radicals and therefore can increase food shelf life.
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