Oils and Fats News December 2017

Oils and Fats News

December 2017

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

AAOCS (Barossa)-Summary by Matt Miller

AAOCS-2017-eHeaderWe had four keynote speakers this year, covering our conference themes as well as the omega-3 market trends. Kent Chapman, who leads the Centre for Plant Lipid Research at the University of North Texas presented his work in applied aspects of plant lipid metabolism. The lipid mapping work he has done was inspiring and a novel way to elucidate the complex biochemistry in plants and seeds. Peter Meikle who leads the Metabolism Program at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute demonstrated a wealth of knowledge and work around lipidomics techniques and how altered lipid metabolism is associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and its relationship to the pathogenesis of these disease states. Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, presented her work on the effects of diet on established and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Adam Ismail, the executive director of GOED, urged industry and academia to work together to build trust around the health benefits associated with omega-3 consumption and to deliver strategies that ultimately will benefit public health. In addition to our keynote speakers, we had over thirty oral and poster presentations from our members, covering the latest in lipid research, as well as excellent networking opportunities and lots of great food.


We also held a workshop around lipids in infant formula and infant health. We had a high-quality list of well renowned speakers, but we do want to thank Bob Gibson and Maria Makrides for being two highlights of the day. We would further like to thank Samaneh Fard from Nu-Mega for her great efforts in putting this workshop together.

An important goal of the Australasian Section of the AOCS is to help develop future researchers and industry leaders, by supporting our current student members. We had a number of student oral and poster presentations, which were of very high quality. Thomas Brereton from CSIRO won the Bryce Bell student prize for best oral communication. The Rod Mailer student poster prize was awarded to Shuo Yang from Massey University. Due to the high calibre of presentations, we also awarded an encouragement award to Sara Ghorbani Gorji from the University of Queensland for her oral presentation.

NB Make a diary note for the major oils and fats meeting in Sydney in 2020.



ASB Easter Show judging of Olive Oils

Number 29 Olive Grove, Waiheke Island, has won the Supreme Award in the Royal Easter Show Olive Oil Awards with their Frantoio/ Leccino/ Verdale Blend.

The Royal Easter Show Olive Oil Awards is a consumer-focussed national competition featuring blind judging of extra virgin oil from olives grown and processed in New Zealand.

The judging panel, chaired by Dr Laurence Eyres, included Geoff Webster, food technologist with Hansells, olive oil enthusiast Dr Judy Goulden and Nathan McKenzie, chef and recipe developer with My Food Bag. Commenting on the winning entry, Laurence said it was ‘an excellent example of a high quality gourmet oil well worthy of its Class Champion status’.  He added that the general standard of gourmet oils was improving year by year.

The panel remarked that the quality of oils was very commendable given the patchy growing conditions experienced during summer and autumn. In all they awarded 9 Gold Medals, 19 Silver Medals and 7 Bronze Medals.

Uncle Joe’s of Marlborough have won the 2017 Royal Easter Show Gourmet Oil Awards with their cold-pressed Walnut Oil, making it three out of the last four years that Uncle Joe’s have won the top award with their Gold medal oils. They also won a Gold medal for their hazelnut oil.

Judged each year in a blind tasting session along with the Easter Show Olive Oil Awards, the Gourmet Oil Awards feature premium culinary oils other than olive oil.  As well as the winning walnut entry a wide range of other oils were entered including hazelnut, avocado, flax seed, hemp seed, rape seed, mustard seed oil and various blends.


Chief judge Laurence Eyres commented: ‘There were many excellent oils this year across all classes and it was not an easy task to separate them.  The best oils showed a good balance of fruitiness and pungent notes that indicate a good level of polyphenols, a major factor in the health attributes of New Zealand extra virgin olive oil.  The table olives were also notable for their high quality this year.


Thus, making these butters suitable raw materials for the synthesis of cocoa butter equivalen

Shea Butter

We were recently sent a sample of RBD shea butter from Ghana, which had been pressed from shea nuts, a major crop for the local people in that country. The product was pale yellow with a slight but characteristic odour. Shea butter is essentially composed of triglycerides with oleic, stearic, linoleic, and palmitic fatty acids and unsaponifiable matter. Due to its high percentage of unsaponifiables (viz. triterpenes, tocopherol, phenols, sterols), to which anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are ascribed, shea butter is highly demanded by international cosmetic industries. These non-glyceride components give the fat a tacky, gummy texture. Some authors have also shown the usefulness of shea butter in European and Japanese food as well as the stearine potential as a cocoa butter replacer in chocolate manufacture. It has shown recent potential as a solid fat replacement for palm in shortenings and margarine. These butters are marked by the overwhelming presence of the triacylglycerols SOS and SOO.

A recent analysis by Bakels shows it to have a Solid fat content of 39% at 20 degrees. The fatty acid composition shows 43% stearic and 46% oleic. This is in marked contrast to the stearine from fractionation which has a SFC of 83% with a stearic acid content of 58%.



Virgin Coconut Oil

The pacific islands are seeing the growth in the popularity of virgin coconut oil as a means of increasing the income of the indigenous populations who are on the poverty line. The Solomon Islands are now exporting virgin coconut oil produced by Kokonut Pacific who have been operating their patented process for many years.

Direct Micro Expelling uses a totally different approach to coconut compared to that of the copra industry. With DME® we take (small-scale) processing to the nuts rather than taking the nuts (in debased form) to a (large-scale) processing plant located in another country. The outcome is that DME® produces a virgin coconut oil (VCO) of vastly superior quality copra oil (CNO).
“Direct Micro Expelling” is highly descriptive of the technology. It is:

  • Direct — quick (oil produced within 1 hour of opening the nut) and efficient (Its oil extraction efficiency or OEE is 85% of the available oil).
  • Micro — small scale (family farm size).
  • Expelling — extraction of virgin oil and meal

The DME® Process concentrates on a small, manageable, daily throughput of up to 1,000 nuts. It is a “dry-process” using its shells as fuel. Whereas the same resource made into copra takes a week to make and pack and then take many weeks to ship and process in large overseas oil mills.



Removing solvents from routine QC of oils using FT- NIR (Information from Bruker).


Near Infrared Spectroscopy has been a well-established technique in the agricultural sector for decades and is in recent years becoming more and more important in the food industry.

It offers a lot of advantages over classical wet-chemical and chromatographic analyses, since it is quick, cost-effective and safe, as no hazardous chemicals like gases or solvents are used.

Figure 1: The edible oil is measured in disposable vials


FT-NIR also avoids the typical error sources of the classical lab methods, e.g. during the sample preparation stage. For the edible oil analysis, the neat sample is simply filled into an 8mm glass vial and placed into the spectrometer for a temperature controlled measurement (Fig. 1). With this measurement, multiple components can be analysed in less than one minute.

The spectrometer simply measures the absorption of near-infrared light of the sample at different wavelengths. The recorded NIR spectrum is characterized by overtones and combinations of the fundamental molecular vibrations of molecules containing C-H, N-H or O-H groups, making NIR spectroscopy first choice for the analysis of organic materials like edible oils.

Since NIR spectroscopy is capable of looking at the complete composition of the molecule a wide number of quality parameters can be analysed from the composition of the oils, e.g. Iodine value (IV) or fatty acid profile to oxidation parameters like free fatty acid (FFA) content or peroxide value (PV).

Although NIR spectroscopy is not a technology for trace analysis like for toxins, it will help the producer to constantly monitor the quality of the oils along the production chain. This was also acknowledged by the AOCS (American Oil Chemists Society), which added the analysis of Iodine Value (Cd1e-01) and total SFA, MUFA, PUFA, and trans fatty acids (Cd 14f-14) by FT-NIR to their official methods.


Author info: Dagmar Behmer, Bruker Optics (dagmar.behmer@bruker.com)





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