Comparison of analytical techniques for the determination of the positional distribution of fatty acids in triacylglycerols. Relationship with pig fat melting point and hardness


  • J. Segura Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense
  • N. Ruiz-López Departamento de Producción Animal, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • D. Menoyo Departamento de Producción Animal, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • M. I. Cambero Departamento de Nutrición, Bromatología y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense
  • C. J. López-Bote Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense



Basic methylation, Fatty acids, Positional distribution, TLC, Triacylglycerides


This study was conducted to compare two of the most widely used methods for the determination of the positional distribution of fatty acids within the triacylglycerol molecules from fats of animal origin. Method A involves incubation of the triacylglycerol fraction with an aqueous suspension of the lipase enzyme, separation of the reaction products by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), and analysis of fatty acid methyl esters by gas-liquid chromatography. Method B eliminates the need for TLC. This technique makes use of the fact that methanolic-NaOH methylates only fatty acids esterified to glycerol. Our results demonstrated that method A data were in line with previous literature. Additionally, method A showed good correlations between fatty acid positional distribution and fat melting point and hardness. However, method B showed an underestimation of palmitic acid and lacked correlation with selected physical properties.


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How to Cite

Segura J, Ruiz-López N, Menoyo D, Cambero MI, López-Bote CJ. Comparison of analytical techniques for the determination of the positional distribution of fatty acids in triacylglycerols. Relationship with pig fat melting point and hardness. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2015Jun.30 [cited 2023Feb.4];66(2):e076. Available from: