Oils and fats news May June 2024

Oils and fats news

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

AOCS Montreal 2024

May June 2024

A Massey student just won an award for best poster at AOCS in Montreal. Matt Miller and his AAAOCS colleagues facilitated the travel and registration for Youwei (Roy) Wang to attend this annual event, this year held in Canada. The photo shows him exhibiting the winning poster with his US supervisor for his research grant, Professor Selina Wang. The other two supervisors on the avocado project are Professor Marie Wong (Massey) his PhD supervisor and Dr. Allan Wolff (Plant and Food.) Selina and UC Davis are offering the online course on avocados from growing to RBD oil production.

USP has submitted a standard for RBD avocado oil and it was published by the FCC and was effective on June 1, 2022. Current published Monograph is for refined avocado oil.

oil. Monographs are updated in June and December each year.

Roy and Selina at AOCS Montreal-second prize


  • Two short courses brought together a global audience to discuss lipid oxidation in foods and ed
    ible oil refining.
  • Ninety industry partners filled the Expo Hall to share their products and latest innovations.

AOCS  recognized 40+ award winners for their dedication and accomplishments. Congratulations to everyone.


Microbial oils

  • Microalgae converts simple sugars into lipids on an industrial scale quickly and efficiently using fermentation.
  • By understanding the biology of microalgae, we can design the oil and how it is produced using classical strain improvements, genetic engineering, or a combination.
  • Researchers have developed a high-oleic acid microalgae strain suitable for nutrition, culinary, and personal care applications. They also engineered a strain capable of producing OPO (1,3-dioleoyl-2-palmitoyl-glycerol), a structured triacylglycerol present in human milk, which can be incorporate into nutrition products for infants and toddlers.


Note that Dr Julian Davies of DSIR pioneered this work 30 years ago and Colin Ratledge of the UK has maintained his groundbreaking work on microbial oil.

Developing lipids in oleaginous microorganisms has benefits beyond environmental sustainability. Researchers can alter the lipid composition of an oil on a much faster timescale than when it is agriculturally produced. Fatty acids can be fine-tuned on a glycerol backbone to produce the exact triacylglycerol composition for a specified application at industrial scale. The progress of biotechnology over the past decade has now made its way into the marketplace, resulting in consumer awareness of the advantage of microbial oils.

Microbial production of omega‐3 fatty acids: an overview

N KannanAS RaoA Nair - Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2021 –



Omega5 is Also known as punicic acid, omega-5 is a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid found in certain seed oils like pomegranates.

It is also recognized as “Trichosanic acid” with molecular formula C18H30O2 while its molar mass is 278.43 g/mol with melting point of 44-45oC. Punicic acid is an isomer of conjugated α-linolenic acid and a ω-5 polyunsaturated fatty acid which have structural resemblance with conjugated α-linolenic and linoleic acid, for instance the number of double bonds and atomic arrangement. Due to health benefits associated with these fatty acids, scientists are showing great interest in exploring functional and nutraceutical properties of punicic acid against various metabolic ailments [1415]. Omega-5 fatty acids are less well known than their omega-3 cousins and may have similar health benefits, but are far less thoroughly researched, and even the safety of omega-5 supplements has not been well investigated. The only foods that contain the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid known as punicic acid are salmon, coconut oil and pomegranates, and pomegranate oil is the basis of most supplements. Cannot se this as becoming commercial. Its of academic interest.


The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) designated its names as 9Z, 11E, 13Z-octadeca-9, 11, 13-trienoic acid.


As we enter an age of personalized nutrition, consumers will have access to more resources that help them identify which products work and which products do not. For those that make the effort to see a healthcare practitioner on a regular basis, cardiovascular health is consistently examined, and when medication is necessary, blood tests and other tools verify whether the medication is having an effect. At home tests, such as the Omega-3 Index Test from Omega Quant, may offer similar verification. The Omega-3 Index is the measure of omega-3 EPA and DHA levels in red blood cells, and its inventors have published ample research demonstrating how one’s Omega-3 Index may influence the trajectory of one’s long-term health. More than that, it provides a tool for consumers to measure and track the progress of an intervention, specifically omega-3 supplementation, and determine whether the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their system in increasing.

The optimal range of the Omega-3 Index is between 8 and 12%, so the test also allows consumers to set goals and measure progress. This could help improve compliance. “Seeing improvements in their numbers is what motivates [consumers]

Unfortunately, official guidance on how much omega-3 EPA and DHA to consume does not really exist. ALA is the only essential fatty acid that has a set “adequate intake level” while no levels are set for EPA and DHA

That is not to say that everyone needs over 800 mg of EPA and DHA. The range of doses on the market does not necessarily have to be negative. If a person consistently eats seafood or other sources of omega-3s for example, they may not need such high doses. Offering a range of doses may help retain customers if they start low and decide to increase their intake or vice versa.

Other Bioactives to take along with omega-3 include:

Phospholipids (lecithin), lutein, vitamin E, astaxanthin and Coenzyme Q10.


  1. Bernhard, B.; Heydari, B.; Adbullah, S.; Francis, S.A.; Lumish, H.; Wang, W.; Jerosch-Herold, M.; Harris, W.S.; Kwong, R.Y. Effect of six month’s treatment with omega-3 acid ethyl esters on long-term outcomes after acute myocardial infarction: The OMEGA-REMODEL randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Cardiology2024399. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2023.131698
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. February 15, 2023. (accessed 2024-03-22).
  3. Harris, B. Omega-3 Cochrane meta-analysis is highly flawed, researcher writes. Nutritional Outlook. August 30, 2018. (accessed 2024-03-22).


Gut Microbiota and the Gut-Brain Axis in Neurodegenerative Disease

The link between the human microbiome and disease is a rapidly growing field of research. There is increasing evidence for interaction between the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and the central nervous system (CNS). The gut-brain axis can thus be defined as a two-way communication system that functions through pathways such as neural pathways (enteric and sympathetic nervous systems, etc.) and humoral (including cytokine signalling and microbial signalling) [36]. Figure 1 provides a schematic representation of the gut-brain axis. The gut microbiome is a richly diverse community of bacteria that initially colonise the gut following birth and maintain a stable composition throughout life.


 Wiped-Film Evaporator

The name Hybrid Wiped-Film Distillation refers to a combination of the low thermal stress processing of Wiped-Film Distillation with the separation capabilities of a Packed Fractionating Column.

The Wiped-Film acts as a once-through, low thermal stress, low hold-up, partial reboiler for the distillation. The appropriate size and surface area of the Wiped Film Evaporator is determined by scale-up calculations based on distillation Pilot Plant trials.

  • Constant, controlled feed rate
  • Steady vacuum level
  • Steady evaporator temperature

The bottom of the Packed Fractionating Column is connected to the vapor arm of the Wiped-Film Evaporator, and is filled with column packing of a variety of commercially available distillation column packing types.

The diameter of the column is chosen based on the feed rate to the system, and the height of the packed column is chosen according to the number of theoretical plates needed for the desired separation. The diameter and column height are critical design parameters.

Sufficient theoretical plates, as determined by the depth of the packing in the column, must be used for a successful separation, but a large excess of column height will cause too much pressure drop, thereby raising the pressure in the reboiler, and thus require a higher reboiler temperature for the desired boil-up for the column. The higher required temperature can cause thermal degradation of the material being processed. A professionally designed column balances the number of theoretical plates needed for the separation against the resulting pressure drop to enable the desired separation.

The column diameter needs to be appropriately designed to manage the desired boil-up. A column that is too small in diameter will flood at the desired distillation rate. A column that is too large in diameter will not allow sufficient contact between the vapor and liquid in the column and will give a very inefficient separation.

The condensed liquid from the overhead condenser is split into two streams by a three-way valve, using a timer to control the ratio of distillate take-off vs. reflux returned to the column. The proper reflux rate must be determined to allow the required energy exchange between vapor and liquid and cause the enrichment of the light key component(s) at the top of the column.

A few examples of applications successfully developed on a Hybrid Wiped-Film Distillation System are:

  • Omega-3 concentration and separation
  • Edible Oils
  • Flavour component purification
  • Fragrance component purification
  • Nutritional Supplement purification
  • Fatty Acid fractionating
  • Fatty Acid Ester fractionating
  • Terpenoid separation from natural oils
  • Many other temperature sensitive separations

Hempseed oil

Hemp oil production is ramping up at Hemp New Zealand’s new premises in the Ashburton Business Park.

The company relocated from Tauranga to Ashburton to be closer to hemp growers in Mid Canterbury and the necessary infrastructure.

Business development manager Nigel Hosking, who has a long history with Midland seed in Mid Canterbury, moved in November last year.

Since then, they’ve moved a UV seed treatment plant, cold process seed press and other equipment from the North Island and fitted out the factory.

The dark green earthy-scented oil is stored in 1000-litre bladders for export or sent off for bottling or turned into capsules, while the remainder of the seed is milled to create a healthy plant protein for smoothies.

New Zealand had about 20 approved cultivars for industrial hemp. Hosking said levels of THC, the chemical responsible for the psychotic effect of cannabis, had been deliberately bred out of the approved cultivars and had to be under 0.35%.

For more information contact Nigel Hosking

Business Development Manager

+64 27 767 6688

Hemp New Zealand™ Limited

37 J B Cullen Drive, Newland, Ashburton, New Zealand 7700







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