Lipase-catalysed enrichment of DHA and EPA in acylglycerols resulting from squid oil ethanolysis

Ann-Marie Lyberg, Patrick Adlercreutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fatty acid specificity of four lipases towards eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was evaluated when performing ethanolysis of squid oil. During the first part of ethanolysis, no DHA ethyl esters were detected when using the lipases from Thermomyces lanuginosus, Pseudomonas cepacia or Pseudomonas fluorescens (in the case of the second and third lipases, no EPA ethyl esters were detected either). This indicates that these three lipases could not catalyse the conversion of DHA located in a triacylglycerol to ethyl ester, and that the Pseudomonas lipases could not catalyse the conversion of EPA either. This pattern was not found for the lipase from Rhizomucor miehei. The lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus showed the lowest specificity towards DHA and the highest DHA recovery during DHA enrichment in the acylglycerol fraction. It was thus used to catalyse the ethanolysis of squid oil on a larger scale. The ethyl esters formed were removed using short-path distillation, resulting in a product containing mainly mono- and diacylglycerols. The product contained 34 mol-% DHA and 17 mol-% EPA, compared with 19 mol-% DHA and 12 mol-% EPA in the original squid oil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Industrial Biotechnology

Free keywords

  • ethanolysis
  • eicosapentaenoic acid
  • competitive factor
  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • lipase


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