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Oregano and Thyme

Oregano and thyme to preserve oils

daniel buenoOregano and thyme, culinary seasonings widely used in Italian cuisine, have been found to help preserve vegetable oils, which are subject to oxidation and changes in flavor when they come into contact with air. Nutritionist Patrícia Vieira Del Ré, of the Federal University of Grande Dourados, analyzed the anti-oxidizing properties of the leaves of three plants used as seasoning – oregano, basil and thyme. Oregano and thyme extracts were found to be the most efficient for the preservation of soybean oil, in concentrations of three thousand milligrams per kilogram. This is an indication that the oleoresins and anti-oxidants of these plants could be used in the place of synthetic preservatives. Coauthor Neuza Jorge, of Paulista State University (Unesp), warns that the conclusions are not relevant – or might not be relevant – to people who use small quantities of seasonings and oils when cooking at home (Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, October).