Chemical Structure and Properties

1) Chemical Structure and Homologues



Natural TOCOPHEROL exists as a mixture of 4 homologues, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta - available as a mixed product known as MIXED TOCOPHEROLS - which is also known as vitamin E. We supply Tocopherol products and specialties according to requirements by separating or combining the homologues using unique technology.
Homologues R1 R2 R3
Alpha- TOCOPHEROL CH3 CH3 CH3
Beta- TOCOPHEROL CH3 H CH3
Gamma- TOCOPHEROL H CH3 CH3
Delta- TOCOPHEROL H H CH3

2) Comparison of Antioxidant Activity of Homologues

Alpha-Toc has strong vitamin E activity, while Beta, Gamma, and Delta-Toc have strong antioxidant activity in foodstuffs. Therefore, Toc preparations which have a high Alpha-Toc content are suitable for health foods and vitamin E enrichment.


Biological and Antioxidant Activities of TOCOPHEROLS
Kind of TOC. Biological activity
(IU/mg)
Antioxidant activity
(with d-Alpha-TOC as 100)
dl-form = synthetic, d-form = natural
dl-Alpha-Toc acet. 1 0
d-Alpha-Toc acet. 1.36 0
dl-Alpha-Toc 1.1 100
d-Alpha-Toc 1.49 100
d-Beta-Toe 0.75 130
d-Gamma-Toc 0.15 200
d-Delta-Toc 0.05 300-500

Schaal Oven Test was carried out to examine the antioxidant activity of each homologue on lard. As a result, when comparing the days on which the POV values reached 50, the extent of antioxidant activity was in the following order: Delta > Gamma, Beta > Alpha. It is considered that MIXED TOCOPHEROLS with a high content of Delta toc or with a high content of Delta-Toc and Gamma-Toc are suitable for antioxidant in food.

Comparison of Antioxidant Activity of Related Products


(Amount added: 210 ppm in oil 20g of oil in a 9 ø cm Petri-schale was kept in a dark place at 60°C).

Alpha-Toc has weak antioxidant activity, which is true of synthetic TOCOPHEROL (dl-Alpha-Toc). Interestingly however, it is also known that the addition of a large amount of Alpha-Toc accelerates oxidation. Therefore, users must be careful in using dl-Alpha-Toc, and bind a lower ratio of Alpha-Toc in the case of natural MIXED Toc.


Comparison of Antioxidant Activity of Related Products


(Amount added: 210 ppm in oil 20g of oil in a 9 ø cm Petri-schale kept in a dark place at 60°C)





Riken now supplies the following:
(1) Mixed Toc: (E-Oil) which possesses antioxidant activity.
(2)Toc specialties (E-Oil Super) in which the composition of homologues is adjusted to exhibit greater antioxidant activity.
(3) Other Toc Products which contain a large amount of Alpha-Toc of high biological activity.

3) Properties

TOCOPHEROLS are transparent, viscous, oily liquids with slightly characteristic odor, and have colors ranging between light yellow to reddish brown. They are insoluble in water. but soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol, chloroform and hexane. The color changes gradually into dark brown after contact with air or light though it dose not alter the antioxidant activity.

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