Harmful health effects have been attributed to cholesterol oxidation products (COPs). Factors that modulate their formation in foods are light, oxygen, heat, and food matrix (such as antioxidants content or unsaturation degree of lipids), among others. The objective of this work was to assess the effectiveness of an extract obtained from Solanum sessiliflorum (mana-cubiu) (MCE) as a potential inhibitor of cholesterol oxidation under heating conditions. The influence of free DHA presence in the system was also evaluated. Results showed that MCE inhibited cholesterol degradation (44 vs. 18% without and with MCE, respectively) and reduced ninefold COPs formation in the absence of DHA. However, when DHA was present, the MCE was not effective toward cholesterol oxidation. In this case, MCE showed its antioxidant effect protecting DHA from degradation (89 vs. 64%).
Practical applications: Antioxidant properties of this solvent free natural extract make MCE a potential good ingredient in food products containing highly polyunsaturated lipids to protect them from oxidation and in food products lacking polyunsaturated lipids to protect cholesterol from oxidation.