Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 10∕2013

Crystallization and polymorphic behavior of shea stearin

Shea stearin, a high melting fraction of shea butter, is a widely used fat in the confectionery, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Ray et al. present a comprehensive characterization of shea stearin crystallization and its polymorphic behavior, and furthermore they investigated the differences in behavior between commercial stearin and stearin which had been subject to silica treatment to remove polar components. The presence of small amounts of diacylglycerols significantly delayed the crystallization process of shea stearin, particularly of the lower polymorphs.

Ray, J. et al. Crystallisation and polymorphic behaviour of shea stearin and the effect of removal of polar components. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2013, 115, 1094–1106.


Synthesis of sapienic acid esters of functional phenolics and their antioxidant and cytotoxic activities

The synthesis of sapienic acid esters bearing phenolic groups using chemical (Wittig reaction) and enzymatic techniques employing an immobilized lipase is described by Kaki et al. The phenolic groups included hydroxy- and dihydroxybenzyl, vanillyl, coniferyl, tyrosyl, and hydroxytyrosyl. While sapienic acid alone was not cytotoxic to any of the tumor cell lines tested, three of the sapienic acid esters exhibited moderate cytotoxicity. All the esters were able to scavenge free radicals in the DPPH assay. Further research will be needed to investigate the potential of these compounds for use in cosmetics and in particular in sunscreens.

Kaki, S. S. et al. Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of sapienic acid esters of functional phenolics and evaluation of their antioxidant and cytotoxic activities. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2013, 115, 1123–1129.


Fermentation produces natural flavors in coconut cream

Sun et al. show an effective approach of coupling yeast alcoholic fermentation and lipase-catalyzed biocatalysis to synthesize fatty acid ethyl esters in coconut cream. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out using Saccharomyces cerevisiae which generated ethanol as one substrate for ester synthesis; a commercial lipase (Palatase) was added into the fermentation medium to catalyze ester synthesis. The end product containing the esters ethyl octanoate, ethyl decanoate, and ethyl laurate has potential as natural food flavoring, and the esters may also be further separated and purified for use as pure flavor compounds.

Sun, J. et al. Biosynthesis of flavor esters in coconut cream through coupling fermentation and lipase-catalyzed biocatalysis. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2013, 115, 1107–1114.