Butylhydroxinon – TBHQ | E 319

Butylhydroxinon is a synthetic product. Another name for butylhydroxinon is TBHQ or tert-Butylhydroquinone. It can be made through various production processes.

Functionality in Food

TBHQ (Butylhydroxinon) is used as an antioxidant in oils and fats. It does not alter the flavor of the product it is used in. It extends the shelf life of the product it is used in.

Chemical properties

Butylhydroxinon is a solid antioxidant that is readily soluble at use levels in fats and oils and in a number of food-grade solvents but is practically insoluble in water. Its chemical name in IUPAC nomenclature is tert-butyl-1,4-benzenediol. The name in CAS nomenclature is 1,4-benzenediol, 2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-. In addition, there are some synonyms.

CAS Registry Number is 1948-33-0, other CAS Numbers are 123477-69-0, 140627-33-4, 29863-17-0, 68816-56-8.




The acceptable daily intake EU) for butylhydroxinon is up to 0.02 mg/kg body weight. TBHQ is being used as food additive in several countries including Australia, Brazil, China, and the United States, from which intake data are available (WHO, 1999). The safety review from the EFSA from 2004 can be found here.


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Ria Van Hoef

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