, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1031–1035 | Cite as

Separation of vitamin E (tocopherol, tocotrienol, and tocomonoenol) in palm oil

  • Mei Han Ng
  • Yuen May Choo
  • Ah Ngan Ma
  • Cheng Hock Chuah
  • Mohd Ali Hashim


Previous reports showed that vitamin E in palm oil consists of various isomers of tocopherols and tocotrienols [α-tocopherol (α−T), α-tocotrienol, γ-tocopherol, γ-tocotrienol, and δ-tocotrienol), and this is normally analyzed using silica column HPLC with fluorescence detection. In this study, an HPLC-fluorescence method using a C30 silica stationary phase was developed to separate and analyze the vitamin E isomers present in palm oil. In addition, an α-tocomonoenol (α−T1) isomer was quantified and characterized by MS and NMR. α−T1 constitutes about 3–4% (40±5 ppm) of vitamin E in crude palm oil (CPO) and is found in the phytonutrient concentrate (350±10 ppm) from palm oil, whereas its concentration in palm fiber oil (PFO) is about 11% (430±6 ppm). The relative content of each individual vitamin E isomer before and after interesterification/transesterification of CPO to CPO methyl esters, followed by vacuum distillation of CPO methyl esters to yield the residue, remained the same except for α−T and γ−T3. Whereas α−T constitutes about 36% of the total vitamin E in CPO, it is present at a level of 10% in the phytonutrient concentrate. On the other hand, the composition of γ−T3 increases from 31% in CPO to 60% in the phytonutrient concentrate. Vitamin is present at 1160±43 ppm, and its concentrations in PFO and the phytonutrient concentrate are 4,040±41 and 13,780±65 ppm, respectively. The separation and quantification of α−T1 in palm oil will lead to more in-depth knowledge of the occurrence of vitamin E in palm oil.


Vacuum Distillation Palm Olein Tocotrienols Total Vitamin Silica Stationary Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



crude palm oil


marine-derived tocopherol


Malaysian Palm Oil Board


palm fiber oil












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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Han Ng
    • 2
  • Yuen May Choo
    • 1
  • Ah Ngan Ma
    • 1
  • Cheng Hock Chuah
    • 2
  • Mohd Ali Hashim
    • 3
  1. 1.Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)Kajang, SelangorMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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