Oils & Fats News January / February 2014

Conferences in 2014

105th AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo
May 4-7, 2014 | Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | San Antonio, Texas.
(The site of the Alamo). This looks to be of the normal high calibre of these meetings.

Lipid section of the annual NZIFST conference
Christchurch, July 1-3, 2014.
There will be an oil and fats/lipids/antioxidants session at the conference. Any interest in presenting then please contact the secretary.

Veteran Lipid Researcher offers inspiration for the semi -retired!

The researcher, Fred Kummerow, an Emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, has spent more than six decades studying the dietary factors that contribute to heart disease. He is still producing credible scientific publications. In a new paper in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, he reviews the research on lipid metabolism and heart disease with a focus on the consumption of oxidized cholesterol – in his view a primary contributor to heart disease.

The 98-year-old researcher argues that, contrary to decades of clinical assumptions and advice to patients, dietary cholesterol is good for your heart – unless that cholesterol is unnaturally oxidized (by frying foods in reused oil, eating lots of 0mega-6 polyunsaturated fats or smoking).

“Oxidized lipids contribute to heart disease both by increasing deposition of calcium on the arterial wall, a major hallmark of atherosclerosis, and by interrupting blood flow, a major contributor to heart attack and sudden death,” Kummerow wrote in the review.

Over his 60-plus-year career, Kummerow has painstakingly collected and analyzed the findings that together, he proposes reveal the underlying mechanisms linking oxidized cholesterol (and trans fats) to heart disease.

Many of Kummerow’s insights come from his relentless focus on the physical and biochemical changes that occur in the arteries of people with heart disease. For example, he has worked with surgeons to retrieve and examine the arteries of people suffering from heart disease, and has compared his findings with those obtained in animal experiments.

He and his colleagues reported back in 2001 that the arteries of people who had had bypass operations contained elevated levels of sphingomyelin, one of several phospholipids (phosphate-containing lipids) that make up the membranes of all cells. The bypass patients also had significantly more oxidized cholesterols (oxysterols) in their plasma and tissues than people who had not been diagnosed with heart disease. Members of the specialist group may remember that we held a seminar on the risks associated with oxidised lipids over a decade ago and had professor Rudolph Riemersma out to NZ to speak about this.

Kumerow’s other studies have demonstrated a link between increases in sphingomyelin and the deposit of calcium in the coronary arteries. The mechanism by which this occurred was unclear, however. Kummerow’s team searched the literature and found a study that showed that in the presence of certain salts (in the blood, for example), lipids like sphingomyelin develop a negative charge. This explains the attraction of the positively charged calcium to the arterial wall when high amounts of sphingomyelin are present,

“So there was a negative charge on the wall of this artery, and it attracted calcium from the blood until it calcified the whole artery.”

Oxidized fats contribute to heart disease (and sudden death from heart attacks) in an additional way, Kummerow said. They found that when the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol”) is oxidized, it increases the synthesis of a blood-clotting agent, called thromboxane, in the platelets.

If someone eats a diet rich in oxysterols and trans fats and also smokes, he or she is endangering the heart in three distinct ways, Kummerow said. The oxysterols enhance calcification of the arteries and promote the synthesis of a clotting agent. And the trans fats and cigarette smoke interfere with the production of a compound, prostacyclin, which normally keeps the blood fluid.

“And that causes 600,000 deaths in this country each year,” Kummerow said.

Kummerow is the author of “Cholesterol Won’t Kill You, But Trans Fats Could.”
Am J Cardiovasc Dis 2013;3(1):17-26 /ISSN:2160-200X/AJCD1211005

LipidOxidationChallengesInFoodSystemsOther modern perspectives on oxidised lipids and health are found in the new AOCS book “Lipid Oxidation: Challenges In Food Systems”.


Philippine coconut crop damage and its effects

The Typhoon Haiyan has knocked out up to 300,000 tonnes of coconut oil supply in the Southeast Asian country, according to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), a government-linked agency.

It will take years to restore Philippine coconut exports after the typhoon.

The destruction of an estimated three million coconut palms in last month’s deadly typhoon in the Philippines is set to squeeze global supply for years of the tropical fruit used to make products from fuel to health drinks.

Even before Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, the United Nations had warned that global demand for coconuts was outstripping production in Asia, home to 85 percent of output.

There is also continuing demand pressure, helped by heavy marketing of coconut water as an electrolyte-rich health drink that has led investments in suppliers by global soft drink giants. Also the new fad is for the consumption of extra virgin coconut oil accompanied by the non-scientific, web based promotion of its supposed health effects. Coconut water and milk account alone for 30 percent of coconut consumption, according to data from the United Nations.

While substitutes for coconut oil such as palm kernel oil could soak up some demand, plans to raise the Philippines’ mandatory biodiesel blend could divert more coconut oil for fuel and add to demand pressures.

Indonesia produced about 850,000 tonnes of coconut oil in 2012, half of which was exported. However, the sector faces its own struggles from land scarcity to ageing trees.

Astaxanthin from New Zealand Supreme Biotechnologies

Late last year this reviewer was visiting Nelson and saw some very innovative production of the antioxidant and dietary supplement, Astaxanthin, being produced in modern high-tech premises.

Supreme Biotechnologies produces the highest quality Astaxanthin products from their unique strain of algae (Haematococcus pluvialis) cultivated in Nelson, New Zealand. The algae is grown in a specialized photo bioreactor system that allows precise control over the growing environment, guaranteeing consistent high quality production of Astaxanthin. The Astaxanthin is extracted using Super Critical CO2 for purity and superiority to synthesized product.

Dr Robert Corish is the medical director, of the company. He is a doctor, who lectures on preventive medicine and natural health and toxicology, and has written a book aimed specifically at the stubborn guy – the man who would just as soon eat a sour lemon than schedule a visit with the MD. “A Guide to Men’s Health”. This is an excellent fact-filled guide designed to help men see the importance of preventative health care.

Dr. Corish is blunt and straightforward in his presentation, yet sprinkles in humour to loosen guys up, so they can learn how to pay better attention to their aches, pains and symptoms.


Dr Corish examining the photo bioreactors growing the algae.

Cawthron Institute (Nelson)

The Method Development team offers a unique service that has arisen out of demand from product developers to find practical solutions for isolation and testing of new or novel products that will enable them to ensure the quality and integrity of their products.

This team consists of 11 technical consultants that have extensive experience in analytical chemistry, method validation, chemical isolation, synthetic organic chemistry, food technology; GMP certified manufacturing, natural product chemistry and vitamins.

This team works across a wide sector of the food industry including, seafood safety, functional foods, natural products, bio actives and high end diary product formulation.

For more information please contact:

Ms Augusta van Wijk
Business Development and Customer Services Manager
Cawthron Analytical Services
Cawthron Institute

New Zealand Rapeseed oil

This oil is a relative newcomer to the range of boutique culinary oils produced in New Zealand. Cold pressed rapeseed oil is popular cooking oil in the UK.

Pure Oil NZ is now in full production of its cold pressed rapeseed (canola) oil at its Rolleston plant in Canterbury. Pure Oil NZ is owned by Midlands Seed, Southern Packers, Roger Lasham (Agronomist) and Nick Murney (Manager). This group of shareholders bring a wide range of skills and expertise to strengthen the current business model and will ensure the new business is able to reach its full potential.

Brassica napus, commonly known as oilseed rape (“OSR”), is a bright yellow-flowering member of thebrassicaceae family (the mustard or cabbage family of plants). Arable farmers from Southland to Manawatu grow the crop on a forward contract basis for the business. OSR is mainly planted in autumn however spring planted varieties are also available.

This cold pressed oil which can be described as Extra virgin is low in peroxide value and FFA and has a mild nutty taste reminiscent of roasted sunflower seeds. It lacks that cabbage, brassica flavour characteristic of most crude canola oils. Contrary to the rubbish published on the web, this NZ rapeseed oil (same as Canada’s canola oil) contains no erucic acid and the meal is virtually free of glucosinolates. Incidentally rapeseed products now contribute $1.5Bn to Canada’s economy.

Laurence Eyres, Chairman

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