• free fatty acids;
  • oil palm;
  • triacylglycerols;
  • lipase;
  • ethylene;
  • iodine value



One factor affecting crude palm oil quality is the formation of free fatty acids (FFA), often attributed to the hydrolytic action of mesocarp lipase. The aim of this work was to evaluate the enzyme behavior and to look toward new genotypes with low FFA production, high yield, and better oil quality.


Lipase activity was strongly activated at low temperatures (5 °C). At this temperature PLL, SOO, POL, and POO (P, palmitic; L, linoleic; S, stearic; O, oleic) were the most hydrolyzed triacylglycerols in Elaeis guineensis fruits. Ethylene production decreased from 36 nL g−1 h−1 at room temperature to 2 nL g−1 h−1 at 5 °C. Lipase activity of E. guineensis, the E. oleifera × E. guineensis (O×G) hybrid, and E. oleifera were 52.7%, 32.9%, and <0.6% FFA, respectively. The E. guineensis showed oil in the mesocarp of 54.7%, followed by the O×G hybrid (47.0%), and E. oleifera (13.6%), and the iodine values were 52.0, 66.3, and 77.4 g I2 100 g−1, respectively.


This work allowed the identification of interspecific O×G hybrids as promising crosses with less lipase activity and higher iodine value than E. guineensis. Although O×G crosses produce less oil in the mesocarp than commercial E. guineensis; this feature could be improved by further breeding to introduce new genes from E. oleifera into the hybrids. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry