Preparation of Triacylglycerols Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Sardine Oil Using a Rhizomucor miehei Lipase: Focus in the EPA/DHA Ratio.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing evidence on the differential biochemical effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) raises the need of n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acid concentrates with different amounts of these fatty acids. In the present work, physicochemical and enzymatic techniques were combined to obtain acylglycerols, mainly triacylglycerols (TAG), rich in n-3 fatty acids. Sardine oil was obtained by washing sardine (Sardina pilchardus) mince with a NaHCO3 solution, hydrolyzed in a KOH-ethanol solution, and concentrated with urea. The esterification reaction was performed in the stoichiometric proportion of substrates for re-esterification to TAG, with 10 % level of Rhizomucor miehei lipase based on the weight of substrates, without any solvent, during 48 h. This procedure led to approximately 88 % of acylglycerols, where more than 66 % were TAG and the concentration of n-3 fatty acids was higher than 60 %, the EPA and DHA ratio (EPA/DHA) was 4:1. The content of DHA in the unesterifed fraction (free fatty acids) increased from 20 to 54 %, while the EPA level in the same fraction decreased from 33 to 12.5 % (EPA/DHA ratio ≈1:4). Computational methods (density functional theory calculations) have been carried out at the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) level to explain some of the experimental results.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)Online
JournalApplied Biochemistry And Biotechnology
Volume29 Nov
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Cite this