The Antioxidant Function of Lutein in Controlling Photo-Oxidation of a Colloidal Beverage System

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Virginia Tech


The effect of light on a model colloidal beverage system under two different test conditions, refrigerated storage (14 d, 4°C) and accelerated storage at room temperature (12 hr, 25°C), was investigated. The addition of lutein to provide protection against photo-oxidation of susceptible compounds also was investigated.

Fluorescent light-exposure (14 d, 4°C) of the control beverage system led to a decline in sensory quality based on triangle test results. Sensory quality also declined in the lutein-fortified beverage due to light-exposure. Sensory quality of light-exposed, lutein-fortified beverage compared to the light-protected control did not yield significant sensory differences for two out of three replications giving positive implications towards the use of lutein for photo-protection. Overall, panelists preferred beverages that were protected from light exposure with no specific preference towards control or lutein-fortified beverage, indicating lutein did not inhibit photo-chemical reactions leading to a decline in sensory quality. Chemical analysis showed limonene concentration was significantly higher in the lutein-fortified beverage compared to the control beverage after light exposure (14 d, 4°C). Hexanal concentration, however, was not closely correlated with sensory differences.

Results of the accelerated storage (12 hr, 25°C) study showed that the most damaging wavelengths to lutein stability were UV (200-400 nm) and 463 nm wavelengths. Degradation of lutein at 463 nm was expected and can be attributed to lutein''s absorption of blue light at 450 nm. Hexanal formation was highest in the control beverage when exposed to full spectrum light and specifically UV (200-400 nm) wavelengths. Hexanal was also formed in the lutein-fortified beverage under full spectrum light and UV (200-400 nm) wavelength but to a significantly lesser degree. Limonene degraded significantly under all treatment conditions, with the most occurring during full spectrum light exposure. Lutein-fortification did not effectively protect limonene from degradation under these conditions.



wavelength, photo-oxidation, lutein, beverage