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Tocopherol Content and Fatty Acid Distribution of Peas (Pisum sativum L.)


The positional distribution of fatty acids (FA) of triacylglycerols (TAG) and major phospholipids (PL) prepared from four cultivars of peas (Pisum sativum L.) were investigated as well as their tocopherol contents. The lipids extracted from these peas were separated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) into seven fractions. The major lipid components were PL (52.2–61.3%) and TAG (31.2–40.3%), while the other components were also present in minor proportions (5.6–9.2%). γ-Tocopherol was present in the highest concentration, and α- and δ-tocopherols were very small amounts. The main PL components isolated from the four cultivars were phosphatidylcholine (42.3–49.2%), followed by phosphatidylinositol (23.3–25.2%) and then phosphatidylethanolamine (17.7–20.5%). Small but significant differences (P < 0.05) in FA distribution existed when different pea cultivars were determined. However, the principal characteristics of the FA distribution in the TAG and the three PL were evident among the four cultivars; unsaturated FA were predominantly located in the sn-2 position, and saturated FA primary occupied the sn-1 or sn-3 position in the oils of the peas. These results suggest that the regional distribution of tocopherols and fatty acids in peas is not dependent on the climatic conditions and the soil characteristics of the cultivation areas during the growing season.

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The authors thank Prof. Bruce Holub of the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Science, University of Guelph, Canada, for reviewing and commenting on this manuscript. This work was financially supported in the part by a Grant-in-Aid for Kobe Gakuin University Joint Research (A), and also for Cooperative Research Center of Life Sciences of “Academic Frontier” Project for Private Universities, 2006–2010.

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Correspondence to Hiromi Yoshida.

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Yoshida, H., Tomiyama, Y., Saiki, M. et al. Tocopherol Content and Fatty Acid Distribution of Peas (Pisum sativum L.). J Am Oil Chem Soc 84, 1031–1038 (2007).

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  • Cultivar
  • Fatty acid
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Phosphatidylinositol
  • Positional distribution
  • Peas (Pisum sativum L.)
  • Tocopherol homologs
  • Triacylglycerols