Oils and Fats News May/June 2017

Oils and Fats News

May/June 2017

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

AGM and elections

At our recent convivial AGM/dinner at the Northern Club, the committee were re-elected with the addition of Jing Zhou of New Image Ltd.  For Oils and Fats Group



MCPD seminar in Germany

The German Society of Fat Science in cooperation with two German associations is organizing a symposium on 3-MCPD and glycidyl esters. You will find further information on The symposium will be held in English language and should give an overview on the current state of the issue facing the production and usage of edible oils and fats. Note that Dr. Bertrand Matthaus gave a keynote address on this vital topic at our recent Nelson Seminar.



New GOED Study Indicates High Compliance of New Zealand Fish Oil Products for Omega-3 Content and Lack of Oxidation.

The Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED) has overseen the analysis of 47 New Zealand products with the new results published in Nature Scientific Reports.  The paper title and abstract follow.   The full paper is at -  .  The new GOED-lead results are in marked contrast to those previously published by a Liggins team in 2015 in the same journal.  The Liggins team had claimed that the majority of fish oil products did not meet omega-3 content claims and were heavily oxidized. Many researchers expressed considerable concern at the time, and since at a range of conferences and other venues and in various publications.


In late 2016, the Australian and New Zealand Omega-3 Centre published results on a smaller number (10) of fish oil products, with all products shown to be compliant for omega-3 content and not oxidized.  The Omega-3 Centre findings had followed on from those of the Australian Government - Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) who had analysed 15 products in 2015, with all products shown to be compliant for omega-3 content and not oxidized.  Based on their results, the TGA took no further action at the time.


Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content and Oxidation State of Fish Oil Supplements in New Zealand

  • Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 1488 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01470-4


Hemp Oil

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, based in Adelaide, yesterday approved the use of low-THC hemp seed as food.

THC is one of the main psychoactive ingredients in cannabis, to which hemp is closely related.  Richard Barge, from the Hemp Industries Association, said it had taken 18 years of lobbying to get approval despite enormous economic and social benefits of hemp seed.  He said the seed, which has only been permitted as stock feed, is a superfood containing essential fatty acids – including omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 – and protein.  Mr Barge said treating the seeds as a food would mean more jobs, a boost to rural industries and healthy food options for the public.

The largest Hemp seed producer in the country, Midlands Seeds, said allowing people to eat the seed would create a new market in our backyard. The director of Midlands Seeds, Andrew Davidson, said he was delighted with the outcome, which he said was a long time coming. Davidson said it gives people access to the nutritious superfood in the form of oil, protein and whole hemp seed. He said it also creates a consistent, and stable, crop for farmers.

See also: Hemp -revival of a forgotten oilseed crop.

Przybyliski, P., (2006), Lipid Technology, vol. 18 No. 3, p58


Roughanic acid

This is the now formal name of an unusual n-3 fatty acid found in the storage lipids of plants. It is all‐cis‐7,10,13‐hexadecatrienoic acid; 16:3. Named after Dr. Gratton Roughan, an oils and fats member who had a distinguished career in plant lipid biochemistry initially at DSIR and latterly and Crop and Food Research. Gratton is a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and together with his co-worker, Roger Slack published internationally acclaimed biochemical pathways, books and papers of significance. Sadly, Roger passed away in 2016.Both were main speakers at the inaugural Fats for the Future conference in 1983.

Pathways of Glycerolipid Synthesis in Plants, Proc. Of Fats for the Future, (1983) Royal Society of NZ.


AAOCS Meeting, Barossa Valley, September 11-13th 2017


Registrations are now open from the website.

  1. Adam Ismail from GOED is presenting the latest on the NZ fish oil saga

2.       Infant nutrition workshop (agenda coming soon)

3.       Analysis of lipids and oxidation short course on Monday 11th September.  2017 AAOCS Lipid analytical and oxidation short course flyer


The conference venue does not offer on-site accommodation, however there are several comfortable options nearby to suit everyone during their stay in the Barossa.



Lipid Icons

Last month we discussed the career of Leopold Hartman as a key analytical lipid chemist. Some more biographical details have been placed on the website.

Another scientist of great stature was the late Professor Robert (Bob) Ackman of Canada. His work in marine lipids set the scene for a lot of the modern- day researchers in this important field. An example is the review he did at our conference in 1989 on “Problems with fish oils and concentrates.” His work is as valid today as it was 30 years ago.

Fats for the Future, (1989), Cambie, R.C. Published for IUPAC by Ellis Horwood, page 189


Is EV olive oil the best frying oil?


After a comparison with other vegetable fats, experts have pointed out that the high number of antioxidants present in EVOO contributes greatly to less degradation, slower than other oils, in addition to being the most stable and producing fewer toxic compounds. See previous articles on toxic aldehydes in oxidized polyunsaturated oils. In order to carry out the investigation, the oils were kept hot for many hours while frying’s were carried out at different times. After each frying, the oils were analyzed considering the substances formed and the components that could be harmful to human health. Thus, they identified more than 30 toxic compounds derived from the thermal stress to which the oils were subjected when frying.

In the article published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society entitled “Comparative Fingerprint Changes of Toxic Volatiles in Low PUFA Vegetable Oils Under Deep-Frying” researchers have shown that the benefits of extra virgin olive oil compared to other common retail frying oils are also due to a lower percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega 3 and a higher percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic (omega 9), one of its main components.

In addition, the study provides detailed information on the volatile compounds that originate during frying.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society February 2017, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 271–284

Coconut Oil and MCT oil


Highly inaccurate and exaggerated positive articles on coconut oil claiming numerous health benefits continue to appear in the non-peer reviewed literature. The articles still maintain the erroneous statement that coconut oil is like MCT oil in its make-up. A recent article published by researchers at the University of Auckland (2016) used MCT oil as a placebo when studying the beneficial effects of long chain omega-3. MCT oil was in fact not neutral but had negative effects on lipid profiles.

Their conclusions are listed below:

MCT oil was not neutral in its effect on blood lipid biomarkers. The results were surprising and unexpected and have raised serious questions for the claims made about the nutritional properties of MCT oils, and the spurious connection with high lauric oils currently being used by some marketers to promote coconut oil and its products.

Laing.B., Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Research, (2016), Vol. 4 No. 3 ,105

DOI: 10.21767/2386-5180.1000105


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