In this issue

Special topic: Drug delivery

The health benefits of omega-3 PUFA are now widely recognized. Haug et al. present a new vehicle for oral delivery of PUFA - soft and chewable capsules with emulsified oil trapped inside a gelatin matrix. The bioavailability of PUFA was significantly greater when delivered in these gelled emulsions than from traditional oil-filled soft gel capsules. Vinorelbine (VRB) is an anti-mitotic drug used to treat some types of cancer. When injected as a solution, VRB causes severe local irritation. Su et al. studied the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of VRB delivered in an oil-in-water parenteral lipid emulsion (VLE) in rats, mice and dogs. This study is a part of a preclinical evaluation of VLE. Liposomes are important as vehicles for the delivery of water soluble drugs. A key challenge is that the entrapped content is released at the right location in the body or a cell. A common approach to achieve such controlled release is based on using pH sensitive liposomes. Hong et al. employed acidic proteinoid on the surface of liposomes. At low pH, the proteinoid undergoes a conformational change which imposes a mechanical stress on the liposomal membrane, resulting in deformation and damage, which leads to the release of the content.

Haug, I.J. et al. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2011, 113, 137–145

Su, M. et al. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2011, 113, 152–159

Hong, Y-J. et al. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2011, 113, 146–151

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Synthesis of branched chain fatty acids and acylglycerols of acetoacetate

Saturated branched chain fatty acids (sbc-FA) occur as minor constituents of fats and oils. Sbc-FA have lower melting points than their linear counterparts and have good oxidation stability; these properties make them ideally suited for a number of applications including the use as lubricants. Ngo et al. report a highly efficient and selective synthesis of sbc-FA and their esters by isomerization of unsaturated linear chain FA using H-ferrierite zeolite catalyst. Efforts to produce bio-based replacements for petroleum products include production of new materials from glycerol, a common industrial by-product. Haas et al. report a synthesis of mono- and diacetoacetylesters from glycerol and ethylacetoacetate using an immobilized microbial lipase. The production of the esters was sensitive to water but the inhibitory effect could be overcome by using an excess of ethylacetoacetate. In the absence of the immobilizing silica, only monoesters were produced.

Haas, M.J. et al. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2011, 113, 168–179

Ngo, H.L. et al. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2011, 113, 180–188

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Pentacyclic triterpene acids in argan

The argan tree is endemic to southwestern Marocco, but argan product popularity extends far beyond that. The argan oil is used locally for food uses and in traditional medicine, and is of interest to the cosmetic and food industries in Europe and North America. Guinda et al. now report for the first time the presence of pentacyclic triterpene acids in argan leaves and fruits, which are by-products of the argan oil industry. Using solid/liquid extraction with absolute ethanol and GC-FID, the authors identified ursolic acid to be the major triterpene, followed by significant amounts of oleanolic acid; betulinic and maslinnic acids were also detected. Ursolic and oleanolic acids exhibit a number of biological activities including hepatoprotective, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory properties, and are therefore strongly demanded by the functional food and pharmaceutical industries.

Guinda, A. et al. Pentacyclic triterpenic acids from Argania spinosa. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 2011, 113, 231–237

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