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Define antioxidants. Draw structure of BHT.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: The antioxidant is something which prevents oxidation. These are the molecules that stop the oxidation. BHT is the short name for butylated hydroxytoluene. So, as the name suggests the molecule will contain toluene with the hydroxyl group and butyl group substitutions at two positions.

Complete step by step answer:

For this, the easiest way is to break the word antioxidants into two words that are ‘anti’ and ‘oxidants’. So, many times we have read that ‘anti’ means ‘opposite’ and the word ‘oxidants’ is for the chemical species that help in oxidation. So, antioxidants together will be for the chemical species that inhibits or stops oxidation.

Antioxidants can even be defined as the molecules produced in our body that fight against the free radicals in cells and prevent cell damage. Thus, they stop oxidation.

Some of the common antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids etc.

The second part we are having is to draw the structure of BHT.
The BHT is the Butylated hydroxytoluene. If we separate the words, we find out that butylated means the molecule has butyl groups, the hydroxyl means it will have a hydroxy group also. The word toluene means benzene ring with $C{H_3}$ as one substituent. So, substituting the other groups, we get a structure as below -
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Antioxidants are used to prevent deterioration of the stored food items. If we eat food that has antioxidants then it will help our body fight against many diseases. There are many tests to measure the antioxidant content of foods. One is Ferric reducing the ability of plasma (FRAP). If the value of FRAP is high then the food contains more antioxidants.
The BHT has IUPAC name as - 2,6-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-methylphenol.