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Phenol. Any member of a group of aromatic compounds with a molecular benzene ring structure to which one or more hydroxyl (OH) groups are attached. Many phenols are used as antioxidants (q.v.) to inhibit oxidative rancidity (q.v.) development in fats (q.v.), the most common ones being butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) (q.v.), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (q.v.), and the tocopherols (q.v.).