Derivatization of fatty acids and its application for conjugated linoleic acid studies in ruminant meat lipids



Conjugated linoleic acid (c9, t11 CLA) is a dietary fatty acid produced mainly by ruminant animals and exhibits promising health-promoting biological effects. For lipid fatty acid composition analyses, including CLA, lipids must be pre-treated so that the free and esterified fatty acids (triacylglycerols, phospholipids, etc) are available for determination. The most common treatments involve fatty acid methyl ester derivatives from relatively simple chemical reactions, but this becomes complicated when esterification of CLA is involved because of potential changes in its positional and geometrical isomers by reaction with certain reagents. In this review we explain concisely the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular methods (acid- and base-catalysed methods) generally employed for total fatty acid derivatization and their determination on a gas chromatograph. Based on our experiences we put forward the (trimethylsilyl)diazomethane method as an alternative and successful approach for ruminant tissue lipid determinations. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry