, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 106-110

trans-Polyunsaturated fatty acids in French edible rapeseed and soybean oils

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The fatty acid compositions of rapeseed and soybean oils marketed in France have been determined by gas liquid chromatography on a fused-silica capillary column coated with a 100% cyanopropyl polysiloxane stationary phase. Under the operating conditions employed, methyl esters of linolenic acid geometrical isomers could be separated and quantitated easily without any other complementary technique. With only one exception, all samples under study (eight salad oils and five food samples) contain geometrical isomers of linolenic acid in measurable, although variable, amounts. Totaltrans-18:3 acids may account for up to 3% of total fatty acids. This value corresponds to a degree of isomerization (percentage oftrans isomers relative to total octadecatrienoic acids) of 30%. Examination of our data indicates that the distribution pattern of linolenic acid geometrical isomers does not depend on the degree of isomerization. The two main isomers always have thec,c,t and thet,c,c configurations. These isomers occur in the almost invariable relative proportions of 47.8±1.7% and 41.1±1.0%, respectively. The third mono-trans isomer is present in lower amounts−6.5±0.7%. The only di-trans isomer that can be quantitated with sufficient accuracy is thet,c,t isomer (4.9±1.5%). Mono-trans isomers of linoleic acid are also present in these oils. However, their maximum percentages are lower than those determined for linolenic acid geometrical isomers. In the oils showing the highest degrees of isomerization,trans isomers of linoleic acid account for 0.5% (rapeseed oils) and 1% (soybean oils) of total fatty acids. Taking into account all data, it would appear that the probability of isomerization of linolenic acid is about 13–14 times that of linoleic acid.