Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 425–430

Heat-induced geometrical isomerization of α-linolenic acid: Effect of temperature and heating time on the appearance of individual isomers

  • Robert L. Wolff


The formation of linolenic acid geometrical isomers (LAGIs) was studied in linseed oil that was heated under vacuum in sealed ampoules at different temperatures (190–260°C) for several durations (2–16 h). A temperature of about 190°C seems to be necessary to induce the formation of LAGIs. At higher temperatures, disappearance of linolenic acid follows a first-order kinetic. The formation of LAGIs increases with both heating time and temperature, degrees of isomerization of linolenic acid higher than 50–60% could easily be obtained by simply heating the oil under vacuum. Side reactions remain at a low level. The mean probabilities of isomerization of individual ethylenic bonds are similar to those determined in linolenic acid-containing oils marketed in European countries, 41.9, 4.7 and 53.3% for double bonds in positions 9, 12 and 15, respectively. The di-trans t,c,t (trans,cis,trans) isomer is formedvia the mono-trans c,c,t andt,c,c isomers by a two-step reaction. The proportions of thec,c,t andt,c,c isomers (relative to total LAGIs) decrease linearly with the heating time. The proportion of thec,t,c isomer is only slightly affected by this parameter; however, it increases with temperature. The proportion of thet,c,t isomer increases linearly with heating time at each tested temperature, at the expense of thec,c,t andt,c,c isomers. However, there is no simple relationship linking the disappearance of each of the mono-trans isomers and the formation of the di-trans isomer.

Key words

Deodorization geometrical isomers heated oil linolenic acid linseed oil trans fatty acids 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Lipochimie AlimentaireInstitut des Sciences et Techniques des Aliments de BordeauxTalence CedexFrance

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