October 15, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Alpha Tocopherols

I have seen alpha tocopherols on a lot of ingredient lists, especially for packaged products.

What are they, and what purpose do they serve?

-- Andrea Chalen

(city withheld), SC

Alpha Tocopherols are a completely harmless form of Vitamin E.

They are mainly added to human and pet foods to delay spoilage and prevent alterations in taste (that's why "for freshness" is usually added after alpha tocopherols on an ingredient list.)

Much like ascorbic acid (the fancy name for vitamin C), alpha tocopherols are a food additive you shouldn't be concerned about.

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