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  1. Lee YY, Tang TK, Lai OM
    J. Food Sci., 2012 Aug;77(8):R137-44.
    PMID: 22748075 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02793.x
    Medium- and long-chain triacylglycerol (MLCT) is a modified lipid containing medium- chain (C6-C12) and long-chain fatty acids (C14-C24) in the same triacylglycerol (TAG) molecule. It can be produced either through enzymatic (with 1,3 specific or nonspecific enzyme) or chemical methods. The specialty of this structured lipid is that it is metabolized differently compared to conventional fats and oils, which can lead to a reduction of fat accumulation in the body. Therefore, it can be used for obesity management. It also contains nutritional properties that can be used to treat metabolic problems. This review will discuss on the health benefits of MLCT, its production methods especially via enzymatic processes and its applications in food industries.
  2. Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Karim NA, Alwi SM, Lai OM
    J Food Sci Technol, 2015 Feb;52(2):685-96.
    PMID: 25694677 DOI: 10.1007/s13197-013-1065-0
    Structured lipid such as medium-and long-chain triacylglycerol (MLCT) is claimed to be able to suppress body fat accumulation and be used to manage obesity. Response surface methodology (RSM) with four factors and three levels (+1,0,-1) faced centered composite design (FCCD) was employed for optimization of the enzymatic interesterification conditions of palm-based MLCT (P-MLCT) production. The effect of the four variables namely: substrate ratio palm kernel oil: palm oil, PKO:PO (40:60-100:0 w/w), temperature (50-70 °C), reaction time (0.5-7.5 h) and enzyme load (5-15 % w/w) on the P-MLCT yield (%) and by products (%) produced were investigated. The responses were determined via acylglycerol composition obtained from high performance liquid chromatography. Well-fitted models were successfully established for both responses: P-MLCT yield (R (2) = 0.9979) and by-products (R (2) = 0.9892). The P-MLCT yield was significantly (P  0.05). Substrate ratio PKO: PO (100:0 w/w) gave the highest yield of P-MLCT (61 %). Nonetheless, substrate ratio of PKO: PO (90:10w/w) was chosen to improve the fatty acid composition of the P-MLCT. The optimized conditions for substrate ratio PKO: PO (90:10 w/w) was 7.26 h, 50 °C and 5 % (w/w) Lipozyme TLIM lipase, which managed to give 60 % yields of P-MLCT. Up scaled results in stirred tank batch reactor gave similar yields as lab scale. A 20 % increase in P-MLCT yield was obtained via RSM. The effect of enzymatic interesterification on the physicochemical properties of PKO:PO (90:10 w/w) were also studied. Thermoprofile showed that the P-MLCT oil melted below body temperature of 37 °C.
  3. 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.
  4. Latip RA, Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Tan CP, Lai OM
    Food Chem, 2013 Dec 15;141(4):3938-46.
    PMID: 23993569 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.05.114
    The stearin fraction of palm-based diacylglycerol (PDAGS) was produced from dry fractionation of palm-based diacylglycerol (PDAG). Bakery shortening blends were produced by mixing PDAGS with either palm mid fraction, PMF (PDAGS/PMF), palm olein, POL(PDAGS/POL) or sunflower oil, SFO (PDAGS/SFO) at PDAGS molar fraction of XPDAGS=0.4%, 0.5%, 0.6%, 0.7%, 0.8%, 0.9%. The physicochemical results obtained indicated that C16:0 and C18:1 were the dominant fatty acids for PDAGS/PMF and PDAGS/POL, while C18:1 and C18:2 were dominant in the PDAGS/SFO mixtures. SMP and SFC of the PDAGS were reduced with the addition of PMF, POL and SFO. Binary mixtures of PDAGS/PMF had better structural compatibility and full miscibility with each other. PDAGS/PMF and PDAGS/SFO crystallised in β'+β polymorphs in the presence of 0.4-0.5% PDAGS while PDAGS/POL resulted in β polymorphs crystal. The results gave indication that PDAGS: PMF at 50%:50% and 60%:40% (w/w) were the most suitable fat blend to be used as bakery shortening.
  5. Ab Latip R, Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Lee CM, Tan CP, et al.
    PeerJ, 2013;1:e72.
    PMID: 23682348 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.72
    Fractionation which separates the olein (liquid) and stearin (solid) fractions of oil is used to modify the physicochemical properties of fats in order to extend its applications. Studies showed that the properties of fractionated end products can be affected by fractionation processing conditions. In the present study, dry fractionation of palm-based diacylglycerol (PDAG) was performed at different: cooling rates (0.05, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0°C/min), end-crystallisation temperatures (30, 35, 40, 45 and 50°C) and agitation speeds (30, 50, 70, 90 and 110 rpm) to determine the effect of these parameters on the properties and yield of the solid and liquid portions. To determine the physicochemical properties of olein and stearin fraction: Iodine value (IV), fatty acid composition (FAC), acylglycerol composition, slip melting point (SMP), solid fat content (SFC), thermal behaviour tests were carried out. Fractionation of PDAG fat changes the chemical composition of liquid and solid fractions. In terms of FAC, the major fatty acid in olein and stearin fractions were oleic (C18:1) and palmitic (C16:0) respectively. Acylglycerol composition showed that olein and stearin fractions is concentrated with TAG and DAG respectively. Crystallization temperature, cooling rate and agitation speed does not affect the IV, SFC, melting and cooling properties of the stearin fraction. The stearin fraction was only affected by cooling rate which changes its SMP. On the other hand, olein fraction was affected by crystallization temperature and cooling rate but not agitation speed which caused changes in IV, SMP, SFC, melting and crystallization behavior. Increase in both the crystallization temperature and cooling rate caused a reduction of IV, increment of the SFC, SMP, melting and crystallization behaviour of olein fraction and vice versa. The fractionated stearin part melted above 65°C while the olein melted at 40°C. SMP in olein fraction also reduced to a range of 26 to 44°C while SMP of stearin fractions increased to (60-62°C) compared to PDAG.
  6. Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Alitheen NB, Tan CP, Lai OM
    J. Sci. Food Agric., 2017 Mar;97(5):1379-1385.
    PMID: 27801514 DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.8124
    Non-enzymatic browning has been a wide and interesting research area in the food industry, ranging from the complexity of the reaction to its applications in the food industry as well as its ever-debatable health effects. This review provides a new perspective to the Maillard reaction apart from its ubiquitous function in enhancing food flavour, taste and appearance. It focuses on the recent application of Maillard reaction products as an inexpensive and excellent source of emulsifiers as well as superior encapsulating matrices for the entrapment of bioactive compounds. Additionally, it will also discuss the latest approaches employed to perform the Maillard reaction as well as several important reaction parameters that need to be taken into consideration when conducting the Maillard reaction. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.
  7. Tan JS, Abbasiliasi S, Kadkhodaei S, Tam YJ, Tang TK, Lee YY, et al.
    BMC Microbiol., 2018 01 04;18(1):3.
    PMID: 29439680 DOI: 10.1186/s12866-017-1145-9
    BACKGROUND: Demand for high-throughput bioprocessing has dramatically increased especially in the biopharmaceutical industry because the technologies are of vital importance to process optimization and media development. This can be efficiently boosted by using microtiter plate (MTP) cultivation setup embedded into an automated liquid-handling system. The objective of this study was to establish an automated microscale method for upstream and downstream bioprocessing of α-IFN2b production by recombinant Escherichia coli. The extraction performance of α-IFN2b by osmotic shock using two different systems, automated microscale platform and manual extraction in MTP was compared.

    RESULTS: The amount of α-IFN2b extracted using automated microscale platform (49.2 μg/L) was comparable to manual osmotic shock method (48.8 μg/L), but the standard deviation was 2 times lower as compared to manual osmotic shock method. Fermentation parameters in MTP involving inoculum size, agitation speed, working volume and induction profiling revealed that the fermentation conditions for the highest production of α-IFN2b (85.5 μg/L) was attained at inoculum size of 8%, working volume of 40% and agitation speed of 1000 rpm with induction at 4 h after the inoculation.

    CONCLUSION: Although the findings at MTP scale did not show perfect scalable results as compared to shake flask culture, but microscale technique development would serve as a convenient and low-cost solution in process optimization for recombinant protein.

  8. Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Karim NAA, Alitheen NBM, Tan CP, et al.
    Food Res. Int., 2018 01;103:200-207.
    PMID: 29389606 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.10.022
    Medium-and-Long Chain Triacylglycerol (MLCT) is a type of structured lipid that is made up of medium chain, MCFA (C8-C12) and long chain, LCFA (C16-C22) fatty acid. Studies claimed that consumption of MLCT has the potential in reducing visceral fat accumulation as compared to long chain triacylglycerol, LCT. This is mainly attributed to the rapid metabolism of MCFA as compared to LCFA. Our study was designed to compare the anti-obesity effects of a enzymatically interesterified MLCT (E-MLCT) with physical blend of palm kernel and palm oil (B-PKOPO) having similar fatty acid composition and a commercial MLCT (C-MLCT) made of rapeseed/soybean oil on Diet Induced Obesity (DIO) C57BL/6J mice for a period of four months in low fat, LF (7%) and high fat, HF (30%) diet. The main aim was to determine if the anti-obesity effect of MLCT was contributed solely by its triacylglycerol structure alone or its fatty acid composition or both. Out of the three types of MLCT, mice fed with Low Fat, LF (7%) E-MLCT had significantly (P<0.05) lower body weight gain (by ~30%), body fat accumulation (by ~37%) and hormone leptin level as compared to both the LF B-PKOPO and LF C-MLCT. Histological examination further revealed that dietary intake of E-MLCT inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation. Besides, analysis of serum profile also demonstrated that consumption of E-MLCT was better in regulating blood glucose compared to B-PKOPO and C-MLCT. Nevertheless, both B-PKO-PO and E-MLCT which contained higher level of myristic acid was found to be hypercholesterolemic compared to C-MLCT. In summary, our finding showed that triacylglycerol structure, fatty acid composition and fat dosage play a pivotal role in regulating visceral fat accumulation. Consumption of E-MLCT in low fat diet led to a significantly lesser body fat accumulation. It was postulated that the MLM/MLL/LMM/MML/LLM types of triacylglycerol and C8-C12 medium chain fatty acids were the main factors that contributed to the visceral fat suppressing effect of MLCT. Despite being able to reduce body fat, the so called healthful functional oil E-MLCT when taken in high amount do resulted in fat accumulation. In summary, E-MLCT when taken in moderation can be used to manage obesity issue. However, consumption of E-MLCT may lead to higher total cholesterol and LDL level.
  9. Choong TSY, Yeoh CM, Phuah ET, Siew WL, Lee YY, Tang TK, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(2):e0192375.
    PMID: 29401481 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192375
    Diacylglycerol (DAG) and monoacylglycerol (MAG) are two natural occurring minor components found in most edible fats and oils. These compounds have gained increasing market demand owing to their unique physicochemical properties. Enzymatic glycerolysis in solvent-free system might be a promising approach in producing DAG and MAG-enriched oil. Understanding on glycerolysis mechanism is therefore of great importance for process simulation and optimization. In this study, a commercial immobilized lipase (Lipozyme TL IM) was used to catalyze the glycerolysis reaction. The kinetics of enzymatic glycerolysis reaction between triacylglycerol (TAG) and glycerol (G) were modeled using rate equation with unsteady-state assumption. Ternary complex, ping-pong bi-bi and complex ping-pong bi-bi models were proposed and compared in this study. The reaction rate constants were determined using non-linear regression and sum of square errors (SSE) were minimized. Present work revealed satisfactory agreement between experimental data and the result generated by complex ping-pong bi-bi model as compared to other models. The proposed kinetic model would facilitate understanding on enzymatic glycerolysis for DAG and MAG production and design optimization of a pilot-scale reactor.
  10. Lee YY, Tang TK, Phuah ET, Tan CP, Wang Y, Li Y, et al.
    PMID: 31418288 DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1650001
    Diacylglycerol (DAG) is a world leading anti-obesity functional cooking oil synthesized via structural modification of conventional fats and oils. DAG exits in three stereoisomers namely sn-1,2-DAG, sn-1,3-DAG, and sn-2,3-DAG. DAG particularly sn-1,3-DAG demonstrated to have the potential in suppressing body fat accumulation and lowering postprandial serum triacylglycerol, cholesterol and glucose level. DAG also showed to improve bone health. This is attributed to DAG structure itself that caused it to absorb and digest via different metabolic pathway than conventional fats and oils. With its purported health benefits, many studies attempt to enzymatically or chemically synthesis DAG through various routes. DAG has also received wide attention as low calorie fat substitute and has been incorporated into various food matrixes. Despite being claimed as healthy cooking oil the safety of DAG still remained uncertain. DAG was banned from sale as it was found to contain probable carcinogen glycidol fatty acid esters. The article aims to provide a comprehensive and latest review of DAG emphasizing on its structure and properties, safety and regulation, process developments, metabolism and beneficial health attributes as well as its applications in the food industry.
  11. Lin YK, Show PL, Yap YJ, Ariff AB, Mohammad Annuar MS, Lai OM, et al.
    J. Biosci. Bioeng., 2016 Jun;121(6):692-696.
    PMID: 26702953 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2015.11.001
    Aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) extractive bioconversion provides a technique which integrates bioconversion and purification into a single step process. Extractive bioconversion of gamma-cyclodextrin (γ-CD) from soluble starch with cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase (CGTase, EC 2.4.1.19) enzyme derived from Bacillus cereus was evaluated using polyethylene glycol (PEG)/potassium phosphate based on ATPS. The optimum condition was attained in the ATPS constituted of 30.0% (w/w) PEG 3000 g/mol and 7.0% (w/w) potassium phosphate. A γ-CD concentration of 1.60 mg/mL with a 19% concentration ratio was recovered after 1 h bioconversion process. The γ-CD was mainly partitioned to the top phase (YT=81.88%), with CGTase partitioning in the salt-rich bottom phase (KCGTase=0.51). Repetitive batch processes of extractive bioconversion were successfully recycled three times, indicating that this is an environmental friendly and a cost saving technique for γ-CD production and purification.
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