Fatty Acid Profile

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The Fatty acid profile is a measure of the proportions of individual fatty acids in the oil and therefore an important part of the oil quality. The proportions of the different fatty acids can influence the stability of the oil as well as determining the nutritional value of the oil. Some fatty acids are considered better than others. For example, oleiacid – which acquired its name from olive oil – is the most desirable nutritionally. Linolenic acid, with three double bonds, is the most chemically reactive and therefore undesirable from the view of stability. Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid and is also undesirable. The IOC standard for fatty acids is shown in Table 1. The fatty acid profile is influenced by cultivar and environment.

Fatty Acid Composition

Myristic acid≤0.03
Palmitic acid7.50-20.00
Palmitoleic acid0.30-3.50
Heptadecanoic acid≤0.40
Heptadecanoic acid≤0.60
Stearic acid0.50-5.00
Oleic acid55.00-83.00
Linoleic acid2.50-21.00
Linoleic acid≤1.00
Arachidic acid≤0.60
Gadoleic acid (eicosenoic)≤0.50
Behenic acid≤0.20
Lignoceric acid≤0.20
% m/m methyl esters as determined by gas chromatography

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