Innovative Green Method Enables Efficient Analysis of Synthetic Antioxidants in Edible Oils


A separation science team has developed a green and cost-effective method, called feather fiber-supported liquid extraction (FF-SLE), for determining synthetic antioxidants in edible oils.

Lead researchers Xia Xu and Di Chen and team from Zhengzhou University in China have developed a fully green sample preparation method for the determination of synthetic antioxidants in edible oils. The novel method, called feather fiber-supported liquid extraction (FF-SLE), utilizes natural feather fibers as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly support material, revolutionizing the analysis of antioxidants in oils.

Falcon feather isolated on white background. | Image Credit: © elen31 -

Falcon feather isolated on white background. | Image Credit: © elen31 -

Antioxidants play a crucial role in preserving the quality and extending the shelf life of edible oils by inhibiting the oxidation process. Synthetic antioxidants are commonly used in the food industry to enhance the stability of oils, but their accurate determination is essential to ensure food safety.

The study, published in the Journal of Chromatography A, introduced the FF-SLE method as an efficient and sustainable approach for extracting analytes from oil samples (1). The natural feather fibers were directly loaded into the plastic tube of a disposable syringe, creating a low-cost (∼0.5 CNY) extraction device. The oil sample, without any pretreatment or dilution, was added directly to the extraction device, followed by the addition of the green extraction solvent, ethanol.

The researchers successfully applied the FF-SLE method to extract nine synthetic antioxidants from different types of edible oils. By optimizing the extraction conditions, such as the syringe dimension (5 mL), extraction solvent volume (0.5 mL of ethanol), amount of feather fibers (200 mg of duck feather fibers), and static extraction time (10 min), they achieved excellent oil removal efficiencies (> 98.0%).

To quantify the extracted antioxidants, the researchers combined FF-SLE with high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet analysis (HPLC-UV). The quantification method demonstrated satisfactory linearity (R2 ≥ 0.994), accuracy (95.8–114.6%), precision (≤ 8.3%), and low limits of detection (ranging from 50 to 100 ng/g).

The FF-SLE method not only simplifies the sample preparation process but also offers several advantages. It is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and requires no additional dilution or complex procedures. The method proved effective when applied to various types of feathers and edible oils, highlighting its versatility and reliability.

The development of the FF-SLE method introduces a new paradigm in sample preparation for the determination of synthetic antioxidants in edible oils. By harnessing the natural properties of feather fibers, this green and efficient technique contributes to the advancement of food safety measures and quality control in the food industry.


(1) Wang, B.; Xu, X-L.; Zhang, M-Y.; Bu, X-M.; Wang, H-L.; Shi, X-Z.; Xu, X.; Chen, D. A fully green sample preparation method for synthetic antioxidants determination in edible oils based on natural feather fiber-supported liquid extraction. J. Chromatogr. A 2023, 1698, 464004. DOI:

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