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  1. Lee YY, Tang TK, Ab Karim NA, Alitheen NB, Lai OM
    Food Funct, 2014 Jan;5(1):57-64.
    PMID: 24247642 DOI: 10.1039/c3fo60358j
    Structured lipid medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (MLCT) are claimed to be able to manage obesity. The present study investigated the body fat influence of enzymatically interesterifed palm-based medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (P-MLCT) on diet-induced obesity (DIO) C57BL/6J mice compared with commercial MLCT oil (C-MLCT) and a control, which was the non enzymatically modified palm kernel and palm oil blend (PKO-PO blend). It also investigated the low fat and high fat effects of P-MLCT. DIO C57BL/6J mice were fed ad libitum with low fat (7%) and high fat (30%) experimental diets for 8 weeks before being sacrificed to obtain blood serum for analysis. From the results, there is a trend that P-MLCT fed mice were found to have the lowest body weight, body weight gain, total fat pad accumulation (perirenal, retroperitoneal, epididymal and mesenteric), total triglyceride levels and efficiency in controlling blood glucose level, compared with C-MLCT and the PKO-PO blend in both low fat and high fat diets. Nevertheless, the PKO-PO blend and P-MLCT caused significantly (P < 0.05) higher total cholesterol levels compared to C-MLCT. P-MLCT present in low fat and high fat dosage were shown to be able to suppress body fat accumulation. This effect is more prominent with the low fat dosage.
  2. Soo YT, Ng SW, Tang TK, Ab Karim NA, Phuah ET, Lee YY
    J Sci Food Agric, 2021 Aug 15;101(10):4161-4172.
    PMID: 33428211 DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.11054
    BACKGROUND: Palm pressed fibre (PPF) is a cellulose-rich biomass residue produced during palm oil extraction. Its high cellulose content allows the isolation of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC). CNC has attracted scientific interest due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility and low cost. The present study isolated CNC from PPF using a cation exchange resin, which is an environmentally friendly and less harsh hydrolysis method than conventional mineral acid hydrolysis. Isolated CNC was used to stabilise an oil-in-water emulsion and the emulsion stability was evaluated in terms of droplet size, morphology and physical stability.

    RESULTS: PPF was subjected to alkali and bleach treatment prior to hydrolysis, which successfully removed 54% and 75% of non-cellulosic components (hemicellulose and lignin, respectively). Hydrolysis conditions of 5 h, 15:1 (w/w) resin-to-pulp ratio and 50 °C produced CNC particles of 50-100 nm in length. CNC had a crystallinity index of 42% and appeared rod-like morphologically. CNC-stabilised emulsion had better stability when used in combination with soy lecithin (SL), a well-established, commonly used food stabiliser. Emulsion stabilised by the binary mixture of CNC and SL had droplet size, morphology and physical stability comparable to those of emulsion stabilised using SL.

    CONCLUSIONS: CNC was successfully isolated from PPF through a cation exchange resin. This offers an alternative usage for the underutilised PPF to be converted into value-added products. Isolated CNC was also found to have promising potential in the stabilisation of Pickering emulsions. These results provide useful information indicating CNC as a natural and sustainable stabiliser for food, cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical applications. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. Lee YY, Tang TK, Chan ES, Phuah ET, Lai OM, Tan CP, et al.
    PMID: 33480262 DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2021.1873729
    Structured lipid is a type of modified form of lipid that is "fabricated" with the purpose to improve the nutritional and functional properties of conventional fats and oils derived from animal and plant sources. Such healthier choice of lipid received escalating attention from the public for its capability to manage the rising prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Of which, medium-chain triacylglycerol (MCT) and medium-and long-chain triacylglycerol (MLCT) are the few examples of the "new generation" custom-made healthful lipids which are mainly composed of medium chain fatty acid (MCFA). MCT is made up exclusively of MCFA whereas MLCT contains a mixture of MCFA and long chain fatty acid (LCFA), respectively. Attributed by the unique metabolism of MCFA which is rapidly metabolized by the body, MCFA and MCT showed to acquire multiple physiological and functional properties in managing and reversing certain health disorders. Several chemically or enzymatically oils and fats modification processes catalyzed by a biological or chemical catalyst such as acidolysis, interesterification and esterification are adopted to synthesis MCT and MLCT. With their purported health benefits, MCT and MLCT are widely being used as nutraceutical in food and pharmaceutical sectors. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review on MCT and MLCT, with an emphasis on the basic understanding of its structures, properties, unique metabolism; the current status of the touted health benefits; latest routes of production; its up-to-date applications in the different food systems; relevant patents filed and its drawbacks.
  4. Tiong SH, Nair A, Abd Wahid SA, Saparin N, Ab Karim NA, Ahmad Sabri MP, et al.
    PMID: 34407744 DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2021.1960430
    Chlorinated compounds such as sphingolipid-based organochlorine compounds are precursors for the formation of 3-monochlororopanediol (3-MCPD) esters in palm oil. This study evaluates the effects of several factors within the palm oil supply chain on the levels of sphingolipid-based organochlorine, which in turn may influence the formation of 3-MCPD esters during refining. These factors include application of inorganic chlorinated fertiliser in the oil palm plantation, bruising and degradation of oil palm fruits after harvest, recycling of steriliser condensate as water for dilution of crude oil during oil palm milling, water washing of palm oil and different refining conditions. It was observed that bruised and degraded oil palm fruits showed higher content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine than control. In addition, recycling steriliser condensate during milling resulted in elevated content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine in palm oil. However, the content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine compounds was reduced by neutralisation, degumming and bleaching steps during refining. Although water washing of crude palm oils (CPO) prior to refining did not reduce the content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine, it did reduce the formation of 3-MCPD esters through the removal of water-soluble chlorinated compounds. It was found that the use of inorganic chlorinated fertiliser in plantations did not increase the content of chlorinated compounds in oil palm fruits and extracted oil, and hence chlorinated fertiliser does not seem to play a role in the formation of 3-MCPD esters in palm oil. Overall, this study concluded that lack of freshness and damage to the fruits during transport to mills, combined with water and oil recycling in mills are the major contributors of chlorinated precursor for 3-MCPD esters formation in palm oil.
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