Oils and Fats News January 2015

Oils and Fats News

January 2015

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

 “An Update on Edible Fats and Oils for Human Health

This was a one day event Held at the University of Auckland on 27/11/14, organised by NZIFST and the University of Auckland (UOA).It was sponsored by MPOC, UOA and the NZIC Oils and Fats Group. This was a very well -attended, free, full day seminar, primarily the work of Dave Pooch (NZIFST) ably assisted by Associate professor Siew Young –Quek of the UOA and their events coordination team.

The seminar was held in an excellent lecture theatre in the UOA library.

A line –up of 9 speakers from New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and China provided a wide ranging list of topics from the world oils and fats supply, research in China, Health properties of coconut oil to functional food lipids and phytonutrients from palm oil.

Dr Kalyana Sundram, well known to AOCS attendees over the years, gave an excellent keynote address around the future oils and fats supply pointing to a growing gap in the supply/demand equation. Palm oil with its economic 4.73 tonne per hectare yield can help to close that gap.

Interestingly he pointed out that if all the 190 million tonne of oils and fats went into biofuels it would only provide 14 days’ supply. Dr Sundram is a well known nutritional expert who has patents on healthy blends of palm with unsaturated oils and his Smart balance has a ratio of the saturated:monounsaturated:polyunsaturated fatty acids of 1:1:1.

Professor Chen Hong from the Crops Research Unit in Wuhan ,China gave an interesting talk and video about the development work being carried out to raise the intake and quality of targeted oils in China.60% of the current domestic consumption in China is represented by Soybean, palm and rapeseed oils. Their average intake is now 62g/day.

Associate Professor Siew Young Quek then presented some aspects of her work on structured lipids and her work on microencapsulating bioactives such as Astaxanthin.

Associate professor Marie Wong of Massey University gave an update on her Institute’s work on aqueous processing of oils primarily olive, avocado and coconut oils. Marie’s laboratory has now covered a great deal of work in this area and she has presented and published many papers in this field.

Laurence Eyres gave an overview of his recent paper on coconut oil for the NZ Heart Foundation, pointing out that in fact coconut oil was not composed of medium chain triglycerides.

Geoff Webster from Hansells gave an industry perspective on health claims for such oils as rice bran oil , pointing out some potential restrictions on the application of the pick the tick for certain oils such as rice bran oil. He also reviewed industry’s perspective on saturated fat, cholesterol and the heart disease debate

Professor David Cameron Smith then presented the most lucid, fascinating and stimulating discussion about the lipid hypothesis, the restrictions of blood analyses on fasting, the importance of serum triglyceride levels and the hitherto neglected role of sugar in CHD.

Amber Milan and Dr Mahinda Abeywardena (CSIRO) then closed of the day with more interesting and fresh approaches to studying post lipaemic responses and phytonutrients respectively.

In  summary a great day and one that should be repeated. The participants all had excellent networking opportunities, excellent information was imparted and everyone went home with low serum triglyceride levels.

AAOCS news

Next meeting will be this year in Geelong sometime in September. Watch this space

A special edition of the journal Nutrients called “Recent Advances in Omega-3: Health Benefits, Sources, Products and Bioavailability” has been put together and can now be accessed from here. This is a nice summary of selected presentations from the AAOCS Newcastle event in 2013. Watch out for the hard copy (book) version that is currently being printed. Dr Matt Miller ,the President of AAOCS has moved to a technical consultancy position at the Cawthron Institute from Plant and Food research.

AOCS conference in Florida

This large global annual event next takes place in Florida in our NZ AOCS Annual Meeting
and Industry Showcases

May 3-6, 2015 | Rosen Shingle Creek | Orlando, Florida, USA

NZIFST conference 2015

The group will cover aspects of omega-3 science as part of the conference in late June. Anyone interested in presenting a paper in this area please contact Laurence Eyres

Refining coconut Oil in Vanuatu

This author was recently in Vanuatu with an old friend who is a processing engineer George Lim. Our job was to help commission a batch refinery adding value(hopefully) to local crude oil produced in screw expellers from dried copra. This oil is not extra virgin and has an FFA of >3% which presents some challenges.

Apart from returning to the laboratory bench after 30 years, running up and down platforms and deodoriser towers, the operation had its own unique challenges.

One of which was the torrential rainfall which several times blew the electronics on the boiler. The second was the difficulty in obtaining spare parts and raw materials.

Despite the obstacles we eventually made RBD coconut oil of a low colour and FFA from dirty brown, smelly high acidity crude oil. We both returned to a more temperate climate grateful for the easy logistics which we experience in New Zealand. The workforce in Vanuatu are cheerful, bright, enthusiastic and have a can-do attitude so we had a lot of fun with the factory staff who were keen to learn about oils and fats from the two ageing technologists.


Inside the refinery at Vanuatu


Crude coconut oil arriving at the refinery from the outer islands

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