Researchers in SEAFOODplus project have developed a special analytical system that easily unveils knowledge for the understanding of oxidation. Time to measure oxidation rate has been shortened from days to minutes. This makes the acquisition of information from these studies very efficient. In addition the method is well suited to measure the effect of antioxidants, which are compounds that reduces the oxidation rates, and prooxidants, which increase the rate of oxidation.
Model results show that lipid oxidation is extremely dependent upon temperature. For each 10 °C increase in temperature the rate of lipid oxidation doubles. A reduction in temperature from 25 to 5 °C reduces the oxidation rate by a factor of four and might increase the shelf life with the same factor. Also a reduction in free iron in processed seafood can reduce the lipid oxidation. The lipid oxidation is proportional to the concentration of iron, and a reduction of 50 % in iron concentration will reduce oxidation by 50 %.
The effect of ions on lipid oxidation shows that cations as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium do not influence the rate of lipid oxidation in the test system. Among the anions, neither sulphate nor nitrate influence the rate of oxidation, but chloride and dihydrogenphosphate reduce the rate by 60 and 90 % respectively. The activity of inhibition of the phosphate and the chloride were independent, giving producers of seafood the possibility to reduce the rate of lipid oxidation by more than 90% by the use of the correct ion composition.