Combined Short-Path Distillation and Solvent-Assisted Crystallization of Beef Fatty Acid Methyl Esters

Citation

Dugan, M.E.R., Gzyl, K.E., Rolland, D.C., Vahmani, P. (2017). Combined Short-Path Distillation and Solvent-Assisted Crystallization of Beef Fatty Acid Methyl Esters, 94(12), 1503-1508. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11746-017-3054-3

Plain language summary

Solvent assisted crystallization has been previously employed to remove saturated fatty acids from animal fat to develop biofuel with excellent cold temperature properties. The same technology can be applied for removing saturated fatty acids from animal fats for human consumption, but saturated fatty acids remaining are more atherogenic than longer chain saturated fatty acids. An easy and efficient method was developed using short path distillation prior to solvent assisted crystallization for the removal of most saturated fatty acids from beef tallow, and for the first time reports the distillation and crystallization behavior of polyunsaturated fatty acid biohydrogenation products (PUFA-BHP). Fractions enriched with PUFA-BHP may have value-added potential for inclusion in foods or nutraceuticals, as they are under intensive investigation for their protective effects against a number of diseases from cancer to cardiovascular and other diseases associated with inflammation.

Abstract

Solvent-assisted crystallization has previously been employed to remove long-chain saturated fatty acids (≥ 18 carbons) from animal fat to improve its cold temperature biofuel properties. The same technology can be used for removing long-chain saturated fatty acids (SFA) from animal fats for human consumption, but SFA remaining (i.e., 14:0 and 16:0) are more atherogenic than longer chain SFA. In the present study, an easy and efficient method was developed using short-path distillation prior to solvent-assisted crystallization for the more complete removal of SFA from beef tallow, and for the first time reports the distillation and crystallization behavior of polyunsaturated fatty acid biohydrogenation products (PUFA-BHP). Shorter chain SFA methyl esters (i.e., 14:0 and 16:0) were efficiently removed at 90 °C, 9.3 Pa, with a rotor speed of 70 rpm and either two cycles of distillation at 90 drops/min or three cycles at 110 drops/min. Stearic acid (18:0) was then effectively removed by crystallization at −20 °C using a sample to methanol ratio of 1:10. The remaining fraction enriched with PUFA-BHP (i.e., rumenic acid, c9,t11-18:2, and its precursor vaccenic acid, t11-18:1) have potential use in disease model (i.e., cell culture and animal) studies to help further elucidate their bioactivity and mode of action, and may in the future have functional food or nutraceutical potential.

Publication date

2017-12-01

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