Abstract Effects of chlorophyll photosensitisation on the oxidative stability of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions were determined by analysing headspace oxygen content, lipid hydroperoxides, and headspace volatiles. The roles of transition metals and singlet oxygen were tested by adding ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and sodium azide, respectively. Emulsions with chlorophylls and visible light irradiation had significantly high lipid hydroperoxides and headspace volatiles and low headspace oxygen content (p<0.05) after 32h while samples without light irradiation did not show any significant changes (p>0.05). Sodium azide did not show clear antioxidant capacities in O/W emulsion systems rather showed prooxidant properties at some concentration. Addition of EDTA, a metal chelator, accelerated the rates of lipid oxidation in a concentration dependent manner. EDTA may enhance the stability of chlorophylls in O/W emulsions and the resulting higher chlorophyll concentrations may generate more singlet oxygen thus accelerating the rates of lipid oxidation.