The autoxidation of purified triacylglycerols of lard and sunflower oil (TGL and TGSO) containing 0.02, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20% thymol and carvacrol was studied at ambient temperature. The results obtained with the inhibited lipid systems (thymol - TGL; carvacrol - TGL; thymol - TGSO and carvacrol - TGSO) showed that thymol had the highest antioxidant effectiveness and activity during TGSO oxidation. Thymol and carvacrol participated in one side reaction during inhibited TGL oxidation, and thymol took part in two side reactions during TGSO oxidation. Carvacrol molecules did not participate in side reactions during TGSO oxidation. Thymol and carvacrol contributed to chain initiation to a higher degree during TGSO oxidation than during TGL oxidation. Thymol radicals did not participate in chain propagation during TGL and TGSO oxidation. Carvacrol radicals took part in one reaction of chain propagation in both lipid systems. In general, during autoxidation of lipids at ambient temperature, thymol is a more effective and more active antioxidant than carvacrol. Both antioxidants differ in the mechanism of their inhibiting action which depends on the character of the lipid medium. Thymol is a better antioxidant in TGSO than in TGL, whereas the activity of carvacrol in the two lipid systems does not differ significantly.
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