Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society

, Volume 60, Issue 11, pp 1858–1860 | Cite as

New sources of γ-linolenic acid

  • R. B. Wolf
  • R. Kleiman
  • R. E. England


γ-Linolenic acid (18:3Δ6,9,12) occurs in significant amounts in various species of plants surveyed. Of the species analyzed in this study, Nonnea macrospernia, with 5.1% 7-linolenic acid in the seed, is the richest source of this fatty acid. Other species in the same family (Boraginaceae) are also good sources: Adelocaryum coelestinum, Alkanna froedinii, Alkanna orientalis and Brunnera orientalis. Scrophularia marilandica (family Scrophulariaceae) seeds contain 37.9% oil, of which 9.6% is γ-linolenic acid. All species mentioned above are better sources, when the total amount of γ-linolenic acid in the seed is considered, than that used traditionally, Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis, family Onagraceae). None of the other Onagraceae nor any of the Ribes (family Saxifragaceae) species analyzed are as rich in γ-linolenic acid as Evening Primrose. Octadecatetraenoic acid (18:4Δ,6,9,12,15) was found in significant amounts in most of the Boraginaceae and Ribes surveyed. The Onagraceae and Scrophulariaceae lack detectable amounts of this fatty acid.


Ozonolysis Tetraene Partisil Saturated Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Oenothera Biennis 
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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Wolf
    • 1
  • R. Kleiman
    • 1
  • R. E. England
    • 1
  1. 1.US Department of AgricultureNorthern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research ServicePeoria

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