In food industry
1. Antioxidant functions of phytic acid.

Phytic acid is an antioxidant agent. It suppresses oxidative reactions catalyzed by iron. In plant seeds phytic acid helps to reduce the oxidation of its components but when ingested by humans it may reduce the risk of colon cancer and some other inflammatory bowel diseases. The addition of phytic acids to foods improves shelf life. It is also used as an antioxidant in many industrial applications.
By virtue of forming a unique iron chelate it suppresses iron-catalyzed oxidative reactions and may serve a potent antioxidant function in the preservation of seeds. By the same mechanism dietary phytic acid may lower the incidence of colonic cancer and protect against other inflammatory bowel diseases. Its addition to foods inhibits lipid peroxidation and concomitant oxidative spoilage, such as discoloration, putrefaction, and syneresis. A multitude of other industrial applications are based on the antioxidant function of phytic acid.


2. Chelating function of phytic acid
The most outstanding feature of phytic acid is its strong metal chelating function, allowing metal ions such as Fe which often adversely affect the production or storage of food in various forms to be removed or deactivated.
Compared to other chelating agents, it is distinctively effective in wider pH range. Besides this function, it is known to have strong pH buffer action, their derived effects of preventing the change of properties or colors and anti-oxidation effect. It is listed as "acidulate material" or "production-aid agent" in the "Food Additive List". For applications, it is mainly used for preventing Struvite of tinned tuna, the change of tinned crab meat color to blue ) and the change of boiled and tinned Asari-shell fish color to black ) by applying its chelating function. As examples of applications to ferment food, it is used for the ferment time reduction and taste enrichment of bean paste, soy sauce or pickles ). For other purposes, it is included as preservatives for fish paste products and pasta ) or oxidation inhibitors for oils ).For industrial use, it is also widely used as alternatives of various chemicals including metal coating material ), cleaning agents in plate treatment ), anti corrosives or anticorrosion agents for metal surface ) and desensitizers against the ink on non-line drawing parts in offset printing ), with an expectation for increased demands in the future.
Recently, the cation-exchange resin utilizing the phytic acid is being noted and the ion-exchange performance equivalent to sulfoacid resin is observed, therefore, it may be used for conventional phosphoric acid ion-exchange resin ).
In recent years, various physiologically active functions of phytic acid within living bodies have been reported including the prevention of urinary and nephritic calculi ), prevention of colic cancer ) and suppression of bacterial plaque formation). In addition, other carcinostatic effects have also been suggested ).
Furthermore, as notable functions of phytic acid, the deodorant effect of body odor, bad breath or uraroma ), prevention of acute alcoholism ) and enrichment of meat or fish taste ) are popular. These effects of phytic acid provide food products with practical added-values.


3. Remove irons from wine and beverages
Polyvalent cations of heavy metals such as iron when present in high concentration in wine and other beverages can adversely affect product quality. They may cause objectionable organoleptic properties including metallic taste, discoloration and oxidative flavor changes, as well as forming hazes and cloudiness. Reducing heavy metal content in beverages, especially wines, has long been desirable.
Iron can accumulate in beverages for a number of reasons, for example, from high iron content soils and dust that settle on the fruit before processing. The main reason iron may amass is from the corrosion of metal processing equipment and storage containers or any other metal parts that are in contact with the beverage.
Iron levels above 4 mg/L may require treatment of the wine to reduce the iron concentration in order to prevent unwanted cloudiness, oxidation and premature aging.
Phytic acid or myo-inositol hexaphosphoric acid is a strong chelating agent and antioxidant present in all seeds (Graf, E. Phytic Acid: Chemistry and Applications. Pilatus Press, Minneapolis, Minn., 1986). Phytic acid contains 12 dissociable protons and therefore it has a high chelation potential for polyvalent cations, whereas it does not bind sodium or potassium at all. The binding affinity increases exponentially with the valency of the cation, which means that phytic acid chelates low levels of iron even in the presence of high calcium concentrations. All metal 1-phytate complexes are very soluble at any pH, while metal-phytate complexes containing 3 or more cations are extremely insoluble.



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