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Modified palm olein could boost food applications and nutritional quality: Study

By Nathan Gray , 08-Nov-2011

The addition of the medium chain fatty acids to palm olein may help to widen its potential uses in food formulation whilst producing oil with better nutritional quality, according to new research.

The study, published in Food Chemistry, reports that the medium chain fatty acids, caprylic and capric acids were incorporated into palm olein at the expense of palmitic and oleic acid, resulting in improved nutritional quality and modified physical and chemical propertied leading to wider potential applications in the food industry.

[The] nutritional quality of palm olein was improved by reducing palmitic acid and enriching with medium chain fatty acids,” said the authors, led by senior researcher S. Yella Reddy, Central Food Technological Research Institute, India.

“The medium chain fatty acid rich palm olein [also] reduced solids fat content at and below 10°C, lowered onset of crystallization, cloud point and iodine value compared to palm olein, thus widening its applications in food and therapeutic foods,” they said.

Study details

The researchers explained that the medium chain fatty acids, caprylic (C8:0) and capric (C10:0) were incorporated into palm olein by 1,3-specific lipase acidolysis – at levels of up to 36 and 43%, respectively.

“It was found that these acids were incorporated into palm olein at the expense of palmitic and oleic acids,” noted Reddy and colleagues.

The new modified palm olein products were shown to have reduced high molecular weight triacylglycerols (TGs) and an increased concentration of lower molecular weight TGs compared to standard palm olein.

Analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the modified oils found that onset of melting and solids fat content were considerably reduced, with no solids found even at and below 10°C. The onset of crystallization was also considerably lowered.

“Thus, nutritionally superior palm olein was prepared by introducing medium chain fatty acids with reduced palmitic acid through lipase acidolysis,” said Reddy and his team.

Source: Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.10.059
“Preparation of palm olein enriched with medium chain fatty acids by lipase acidolysis”
Authors: C. Mounika, S. Yella Reddy

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