Oils and Fats News December 2016

Oils and Fats News

December 2016

Laurence Eyres NZIFST


Lipids and Nutraceutical conference

The conference, which took place from 8-10th November, was deemed a great success by all who attended. The mixer and opening took place in bright sunshine at the renowned Cawthron Institute. They organised a great mixer and Professor Charles Eason, the head of the Institute gave a short speech of welcome and opened the conference. The next day, Harvey Ruru gave a heart- warming Mihi, which to this author was one of the highlights and kicked off the day to a great start. Dr. Matt Miller of the Cawthron proved an enthusiastic and super-efficient chairman of the conference with Kerry South (the event coordinator) making sure everything ran smoothly.

On the main day of the conference 20 speakers gave excellent presentations. For those attending (132) we hope to be able to make the presentations available on the website

The student poster prize was won by Mr. Shuo Yang of Massey University. This consisted of a cash prize and the opportunity to attend the AAOCS conference in 2017. His topic was around the production of avocado oil. This is a continuation of a research topic pursued by Professor Wong and Allan Woolf for over 15 years with several books and papers published in International scientific media.

The final day saw a stimulating half-day seminar on marine bioactives and it is hoped that the papers from this meeting will become available.

Nelson proved to be a great place for a conference with everything within walking distance, good food, pleasant shopping areas and boutique beers. NZIFST conference next July should be great.

Some highlights on nutrition and recent controversies (saturated fat and omega-3) taken from the papers by Professors Calder and Clifton:

  • Replacing 5% of energy from saturated fats with equivalent energy from PUFA and MUFA is associated with estimated reductions in total mortality of 27% and 13% respectively

ALA, DPA, and DHA intakes were associated with a lower risk of fatal CHD

NZ oils

Intake and status of marine w-3 fatty acids can be markedly increased through intake of oily fish or supplements

•Much is known about patterns of incorporation of EPA and DHA in humans

EPA and DHA act through multiple, increasingly understood, molecular and cellular mechanisms to affect cell and tissue function

Through these actions marine w-3 fatty acids act to promote and maintain health and to reduce disease risk

•Marine w-3 fatty acids are important throughout the life course

There is robust evidence that long-term intake of marine w-3 fatty acids reduces risk of coronary heart disease –due to beneficial impacts on a range of risk factors





AAOCS Biannual Conference


This will take place at Chateau Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. So, save the date 11-13th September. More information will become available in the next few months. AAOCS meetings always cover up to date and comprehensive reviews of issues and technology in the fascinating world of oils and fats (at least to me).

AAOCS 2017 Promo Flyer

AOCS Awards

$15,000 USD student award up for grabs!

AOCS is accepting applications for the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship until Feb. 1, 2017. The award was established to honour long-time AOCS member Thomas H. Smouse. Smouse was president of AOCS in 1983 and a noted industrial researcher with a passion for the chemistry of fats and oils. Primary qualifications of applicants include the highest standards of academic excellence and the reasonable expectation that the recipient will enter a field consistent with the goals and interests of AOCS. For more details on the award and information on how to apply, visit the website


Lignans-use in olive oil adulteration


A group of researchers and Professor Lanfranco Conte (University of Udine) were conducting a study on mixtures of virgin oils and rectified olive oils when they noticed something unusual. This analysis centred around the presence of lignans and products from them following refining and bleaching.

The lignans are a group of phytochemicals widespread in plants, belonging to the class of phytoestrogens and beneficial for human health. We have done previous reports on their presence and nutritional products from flaxseed. Levels in olive oil are low. Although their quantity in olive oils is comparable to other classes of phenolic compounds, they were discovered ten years after the first studies appeared on the oleuropein derivatives.” Moreover, they are “the most abundant phenolic compounds after secoiridoids in virgin olive oils and their concentration mainly depends on the cultivar, while the milling process does not affect their amount in a significant manner.”

During the study, besides finding two typical lignans which are present in variable quantities, the researchers noticed the presence of other molecules with the same weight and similar structure, which they had never seen before. “This intrigued the researchers and they hypothesized that they may have been caused by the refining process,” At this point, they analysed three sets of rectified oils with intermediate samples and found that a typically applied procedure, bleaching, (i.e. the filtration of olive oils through materials that absorbs a series of unwanted compounds, including part of lignans and phenolic substances), induces the formation of some isobars (isobaric forms of natural (+)-pinoresinol and (+)-1-acetoxypinoresinol).

Molecular dynamic simulation helped to identify the most probable chemical structures corresponding to these new isobars, with data in agreement with the chromatographic findings. According to results, the identification of these compounds can therefore be helpful to reveal if a refined olive oil is added to a virgin olive oil, as in the case of adulterations.

“This is an additional tool at the disposal of producers and analysts responsible for the quality control of olive oil.

Degumming and refining crude oils

For those of us who have struggled to minimise losses and increase the quality of degummed, refined oils there is now a challenging duo of papers which raises interesting questions about the underlying mechanism and chemistry of these complex processes. Dr. Albert Djikstra, well known globally to AOCS members. has written two very stimulating and challenging articles in Lipid Technology (2016, November). He quotes the following “The water degumming process has been in industrial use for almost a century. Some insight was gained during the last century, but research was abandoned when it reached the limits of the analytical capabilities of the time. Consequently, there are many open questions concerning the composition of compounds containing phosphorus, how much of the acid value should be attributed to FFA, how the triglyceride content of the gums can be controlled and how the industrial process can be optimised with respect to the predictability of process performance, product quality and cost.”




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