Grasas y Aceites, Vol 60, No 2 (2009)

Incorporation of medium chain fatty acids into fish oil triglycerides by chemical and enzymatic interesterification

Maria M. C. Feltes
Departamento de Engenharia Química e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil

L. de Oliveira Pitol
Departamento de Engenharia Química e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil

J. F. Gomes Correia
Departamento de Engenharia Química e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil

R. Grimaldi
Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil

J. Mara Block
Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil

Jorge L. Ninow
Departamento de Engenharia Química e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil


Structured triglycerides (STs) containing both medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the same molecule offer nutritional and therapeutic benefits. The aim of this work was to establish the incorporation of MCFA into fish oil triglycerides (TAGs), while maintaining substantial levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids. The effects of different acyl donors (capric acid methyl ester/MeC10 or medium chain triglyceride/TCM) and of the catalyst (chemical or enzymatic) on the fatty acid composition of the reaction product were studied. The fatty acid composition of the fish oil TAG was modified after interesterification to contain MCFA, and it depended on the catalyst and on the substrates. Thermograms obtained by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) showed that interesterification promoted noteworthy changes in the melting profile of the samples. STs of clinical nutrition interest containing both EPA and DHA obtained from fish oil along with MCFA were successfully produced.


Fish oil; Interesterification; Medium-chain fatty acid; Structured triglycerides

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