Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 315–321 | Cite as

Purification of polyunsaturated fatty acid esters from tuna oil with supercritical fluid chromatography

  • M. Alkio
  • C. Gonzalez
  • M. Jäntti
  • O. AaltonenEmail author


The technical and economic feasibility of producing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)- and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-ethyl ester concentrates from transesterified tuna oil using supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) was studied. A systematic experimental procedure was used to find the optimal values for process parameters and the maximal production rate. DHA ester concentrates up to 95 wt% purity were obtained in one chromatographic step with SFC, using CO2 as the mobile phase at 65°C and 145 bar and octadecyl silane-type reversed-phase silica as the stationary phase. DHA ester, 0.85 g/(kg stationary phase · h) and 0.23 g EPA ester/(kg stationary phase · h) can be simutaneously produced at the respective purities of 90 and 50 wt%. The process for producing 1,000 kg DHA concentrate and 410 kg EPA concentrate per year requires 160 kg stationary phase and 2.6 tons/h carbon dioxide eluant recycle. The SFC operating cost is U.S. $550/kg DHA and EPA ethyl ester concentrate.

Key Words

Docosahexaenoic acid eicosapentaenoic acid polyunsaturated fatty acids supercritical fluid chromatography tuna oil 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Alkio
    • 1
  • C. Gonzalez
    • 2
  • M. Jäntti
    • 1
  • O. Aaltonen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.VTT Chemical Technology, Supercritical TechnologyFinland
  2. 2.Centro Technologico Gaiker, Parque TecnologicoZaimudioSpain

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