Oils and Fats News March 2019

Oils and Fats News March 2019

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

John Edward Birch FNZIC, FNZIFST


A long-time member of the group, a friend and colleague and a very active scientist in the field of lipids passed away in early March after a long battle with melanoma. John was originally an industrial chemist, joined the DSIR (back in the day before the Crown Research Institutes) then joined Otago University. Over the years he had supervised many undergraduates, masters and PhD candidates, a significant number in the field of lipids. His topics include such diverse subjects such as biodiesel, refining hoki oil and many others.

John was a warm, highly intelligent collegial colleague and friend to many in the group. He will be sorely missed by his large family, his many colleagues and a host of friends. A more detailed obituary appears elsewhere in this journal.

A well-attended memorial service was held at Otago University on Friday 15th March. During the service, news of the Christchurch atrocity came in, people were already sombre and sad, then even more so.

Tributes were read out by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indrawati Oey and Phil Bremer. Graham Eyres, senior lecturer in Food Science, a past student, subsequent colleague and good friend gave a eulogy. Graham will be taking over Johns’ interests in lipids.

AGM and Social Dinner

This will now be held at the Northern Club on Monday May 13th. It is mainly a social and networking event so it’s great to meet colleagues with interests in lipids, wine and good food. Contact the secretary ruth.eyres@gmail.com for a booking.


WCOF Sydney 2020

The 2020 World Congress on Oils and Fats & ISF Lectureship Series is to be held in Sydney, Australia from 9-12 February 2020. Australia last hosted the World Congress on Fats and Oils in Sydney in conjunction with the ISF Lectureship Series in 2009. A wide range of topics will be addressed including oil production, processing & nutrition, olive oil and marine oils as well as presentations on related products including animal nutrition and surfactants. It is expected that over 500 delegates will attend ensuring a diverse range of interests.

The ISF Lectureship Series is a biennial event held in conjunction with a major global oils and fats research meeting. This is only the second time Australia has been invited to host these lectures, and as always will include a plenary lecture by the winner of the 2020 Kauffman Award, to be announced closer to the date.

The 2020 Congress will be held at the brand-new International Convention Centre in Sydney and promises to be an outstanding event with some outstanding speakers and a high-quality social and accompanying person’s program to match.

Two great speakers already chosen are Professor C.P. Tan, an experienced academic researcher from Malaysia and expert on MCPD reduction and Dr. Betrand Matthaus who was a speaker at our NZ conference in 2016.


image for WCOF

Oils and Fats Student Prize 2019

The oils and fats specialist group (NZIC) is offering $1500.00 towards an eligible student in the lipid field, to attend the World congress on Oils and Fats to be held in Sydney in February (9-12th).

Applications are invited from students attending NZ Universities or polytechs.

Simply write one paragraph describing your work and current interests and how attendance at the conference will help your future career. The application should be signed by the appropriate supervisor. Applications to be sent to the Chairman Laurence Eyres eyresy@gmail.com.

It is expected that the winner will present at least a poster paper at the conference. Applications together with an abstract of the work to be in by mid-September 2019.


Latest papers from global Omega-3 Expert

Professor Philip Calder of Southampton University has recently published two significant papers of interest. One in which his researchers looked at omega-3 absorption in the presence of compounds that aided self-emulsification. (SMEDS)

The experiments and trial showed that EPA and DHA were higher in plasma in the 24 h after a single dose of SMEDS-EPA or SMEDS-DHA than after consuming the comparator straight ethyl ester.

The omega-3 index increased over 12 wk. from 5.1 to 7.9 in the SMEDS-EPA group, from 5.3 to 9.0 in the SMEDS-DHA group, with much smaller increases in the straight ester group.

Conclusions: Compared with standard ethyl esters, a SMEDS results in greater incorporation of EPA and DHA into blood pools after a single dose and with repeated daily dosing in healthy adults. A SMEDS enhances delivery of bioactive ω-3 fatty

acids. It is therefore beneficial to have an intake of lecithin or natural phospholipids with your omega-3 supplement.

Journal of Nutrition, (2018) 148(11), 1704-1715. DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxy127

He has also just done a comprehensive review of omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular outcomes.

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2019, Vol.22(2), p.97-102 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

Professor Calder will be giving a keynote address at WCOF Sydney.

Prenatal DHA test in Pregnant Women

Omega Quant Analytics, producer of the original omega-3 blood test, The Omega-3 Index, has launched its newest test — the Prenatal DHA Test. Developed to help expecting mothers monitor their omega-3 DHA level, the company believes this tool will help women figure out how much of this important nutrient they need in order to support a full-term pregnancy. The Prenatal DHA Test measures the amount of the omega-3 DHA in your blood. DHA is important because studies have shown that women with higher DHA in their blood are less likely to have early preterm births, which is one of the top concerns for doctors and pregnant women. One study showed that taking DHA could reduce this risk by 42%, while another study showed that women with low blood levels of DHA are 10x more likely to deliver a baby prematurely than women with healthy DHA levels. The DHA level a pregnant woman should strive for is at least 5% (i.e., 5% of her red blood cell lipids. The Prenatal DHA Test is the first and only test available to both doctors and consumers.

Predicting the Stability of Oils and Fats

Kemin Industries have devised a web-based calculator to calculate the predicted extended shelf life of oil blends incorporating their antioxidant mixture GT-FORT. This can help improve the number of Oxidative Stability Index (OSI) hours of many fats and oils – which in-turn, could increase the shelf life of your food products. Select the target number of OSI hours in the tool on their website.
Stability Values should be used as an indicator and should be validated in your specific formula.
Hawkins Watts are the agents for Kemin in New Zealand.

Olive Oil Stability Project

It is well known that fats and oils, when subjected to heating at prolonged high temperatures, can potentially deteriorate and give rise to unhealthy breakdown products. So, the aim of the study was to subject samples of local and imported olive oils to a series of laboratory tests designed to expose them to prolonged heating at elevated temperatures and measure the results. Three Gold Medal oils from the 2017 Awards were included in the oils tested. Results from this series of tests showed that award-winning NZ virgin olive oils were high in desirable phenolic compounds and that this made them less susceptible to oxidation. NZ oils also showed very good stability under prolonged heating at high temperature. In all tests the local oils came out significantly better than the oil imported from Europe. Details are given in a report on the Oils and Fats website who were a co-sponsor of the project at Massey University. Laurence Eyres is preparing an article for Food NZ.



As consumers began avoiding saturated fats and governments started banning trans fats, food ingredient formulators sought a healthy alternative that offered similar stabilizing and binding properties without compromising texture and rheology (https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21662-4). They discovered that they could retain these traits and provide structure by trapping a liquid oil in a lattice of non-fat material.

Hydrogels are three-dimensional, cross-linked networks of water-soluble polymers whose biocompatibility and highly porous structure make them a good candidate for releasing bioactives.

Some scientists have proposed a hydrophobic, organic alternative to address hydrogels’ limitations.

Much of the research on oleogels to date has been conducted with the intention of understanding their use in food applications. This is an advantage for drug delivery researchers, since a wealth of research exists on how to adjust a gel’s mechanical properties for a given application.

Under mechanical force, oleogels become less viscous, but then recover when the force is removed.

Researchers have determined several gelation techniques for the formation of oleogels (Fig. 1). Examples typically involve supramolecular networks of protein or polysaccharide from gelatine or xanthan gum that encapsulate mineral, safflower, or sunflower oil. Gelation in these cases is most often induced by a solvent exchange. One unique gelation method involves an oleogel composed of an insect-derived polymer resin that crystalizes to entrap rapeseed oil.

Lipid gels based on monoglycerides and polyglycerol esters have long been used in the baking industry.

Fig. 1 The schematic below shows the preparation of Oleogels.


Avocado Oil Paper

Two of our long-term members have published a paper advancing the knowledge of extracting avocado oil. Dr Allan Woolf and Associate Professor Marie Wong published their work in 2018. Entitled Cellular Changes in “Hass” Avocado Mesocarp During Cold-Pressed Oil Extraction.

Yang, Shuo; Hallett, Ian; Rebstock, Ria; Oh, Hyunah E.; Kam, Rothman; Woolf, Allan B.; Wong, Marie
Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 02/2018, Vol.95(2), pp.229-238 [Peer Reviewed Journal]



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