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Long-chain PUFAs enrich hazelnut oil.

Hazelnuts have a significant place among dried nuts in terms of nutrition and health because of their composition of fats (primarily oleic acid), protein, carbohydrates, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, dietary fiber, phytosterol (beta-sitosterol) and antioxidant phenolics, such as flavan-3-ols.

Hazelnut oil is a valuable product. It's rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as in vitamin E and sterols. You'll find about 80% of the world's production of hazelnuts in Turkey.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, namely eicosapantaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential for our growth and development. They may also play an important role in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, hypertension, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Vegetable and seed oils can be enriched with essential fatty acids to create new nutraceuticals or novel products that give us specific health benefits and functionality.

In recent years, several studies have focused on the lipase-catalyzed enrichment of oils by some essential fatty acids. Turkish researchers used lipase to enrich hazelnut oil with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The investigators used statistics and mathematics--response surface methodology--to determine the optimum conditions for enriching hazelnut oil by incorporating n-3 PUFAs, which were sourced from menhaden fish oil. A structured lipid containing PUFA may be nutritionally more beneficial than unmodified hazelnut oil.

The scientists successfully produced hazelnut oil containing n-3 PUFAs. Then they examined how incubation time, temperature, substrate molar ratio and water content influenced the incorporation ratio. By evaluating response surface graphs, the researchers found that the optimal conditions for incorporating long-chain n3 PUFAs into hazelnut oil were: at 45 C to 60 C, giving 30 to 40 hours for reaction time, at a 1-to-1 to 2-to-1 (mol/mol) substrate molar ratio, with a water content of 3% to 5%.

The researchers conducted experiments at optimized conditions predicted by models. The experiments generated structured lipids with 19.6% omega-3 PUFAs. Further information. Beraat Ozcelik, Food Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, Maslak, Istanbul 34469 Turkey; phone: +90 212 285 6042; fax: +90 212 285 2925; email:

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Apr 1, 2015
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