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Antioxidative Properties and Chemical Changes of Quercetin in Fish Oil: Quercetin Reacts with Free Fatty Acids to Form Its Ester Derivatives

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journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2021, 04:29 by Shaojun Liu, Yamin Zhu, Ning Liu, Daming Fan, Mingfu Wang, Yueliang Zhao
In this research, we studied the antioxidative properties and chemical changes of quercetin in fish oil during accelerated storage at 60 °C for 5 days. Gas chromatography (GC) analysis showed that quercetin inhibited aldehyde formation and unsaturated fatty acid oxidation in fish oil significantly; however, the inhibitory effects decreased gradually with prolonged heating time. Moreover, quercetin was consumed with increasing heating time. Some new phenolic derivatives were discovered in the fish oil with quercetin, with their structures fully elucidated by LC–MS/MS and comparison with newly synthesized ones (characterized by MS and NMR spectroscopy). Based on their chemical structures, we proposed that quercetin reacted with EPA and DHA to form the corresponding quercetin fatty acid esters in fish oil. In addition, the newly formed quercetin-3-O-eicosapentaenoate and quercetin-3-O-docosahexaenoate showed weaker DPPH and ABTS radical cation scavenging activity but much improved lipophilicity, higher cell membrane affinity, and hence enhanced cellular antioxidant activity compared with the parent quercetin. Overall, quercetin could be used as a safe dietary polyphenol to inhibit lipid oxidation. The newly formed quercetin-polyunsaturated fatty acid esters may render improved bioactivity to humans, which needs further investigation.