Grasas y Aceites, Vol 66, No 2 (2015)

Nutritional enrichment of vegetable oils with long-chain n-3 fatty acids through enzymatic interesterification with a new vegetable lipase

J. S. Sousa
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Química, Laboratório de Biotecnologia Microbiana - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Química, Laboratório de Bioquímica Nutricional e de Alimentos, Brazil

A. G. Torres
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Química, Laboratório de Bioquímica Nutricional e de Alimentos, Brazil

D. M.G. Freire
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Química, Laboratório de Biotecnologia Microbiana, Brazil


The aim of the present work was to produce vegetable oils enriched with long-chain n-3 fatty acids of nutraceutical interest, through an enzyme-catalyzed interesterification with a new lipase, from physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.). The Vegetable Lipase Powder (biocatalyst) called VLP, which has never been applied in functional foods, was obtained from the physic nut seed, and efficiently hydrolyzed the 95% of waste fish oil in 24 h. Urea precipitation was used to concentrate polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and was further interesterified with oils of different sources by means of enzymatic catalysis. After the interesterification reaction, which was also catalyzed by the VLP, the PUFA content in coconut oil increased almost ten-fold from 1.8% to 17.7%. In palm oil, the PUFA content increased two-fold from 10.5% to 21.8%, while in olive oil the level of PUFA increased from 8.6% to 21.3%. The mixture of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (3.7% to 3.9%) was incorporated into the triacylglycerol fraction of each of the coconut, palm and olive oils. Through the hydroesterification (hydrolysis followed by interesterification) all the interesterified vegetable oils tested presented sufficient EPA and DHA levels to satisfy the levels recommended for intake by human adults in one tablespoon.


Interesterification; Jatropha curcas L.; Lipase; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Structured lipids

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