Properties of MLCTs and Blended Oils

December 30/Food Weekly Focus -- According to recent research from Serdang, Malaysia, "The physical properties of medium- and long-chain triacylglycerol (MLCT) blends were characterized in this study. Blending MLCT oil with either palm olein or soybean oil changed the distribution of fatty acid groups, the crystallization and melting behavior of oil samples, and oil cloudiness."

"The crystallization and melting curves of both palm olein- and soybean-based MLCT blends showed that the peaks shift to different transition temperatures depending on the percent of MLCT oil added. Viscosity analysis revealed that the oil viscosity was dependent on the temperature and triacylglycerol composition of the oil samples. Blending MLCT oil with either 50% palm olein or 50% soybean oil could assist in preventing crystal growth for the first 8 h of storage at 5 and 0C, respectively," wrote S.P. Koh and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "In this study, the physical properties of medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (MLCTs) and MLCT-blended oils were determined. Under an appropriate dietary regime, consumption of MLCT has been shown to reduce body weight and blood hypertriglyceridemic. Knowledge about the viscosity of MLCT and MLCT-blended oils is important for process design and the transportation of fats and oils products. Moreover, this study attempted to produce clear MLCT-blended oil as there is an important consideration for oil sold in plastic containers or glass bottles to be crystal clear. The findings from this study provide useful information for the application of MLCT-blended oils in various food products such as frying oil."

Koh and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Food Lipids ("Thermal and Viscosity Properties of Medium- and Long-chain Triacylglycerol Blends." Journal of Food Lipids, 2009;16(4):569-588).

For additional information, contact C.P. Tan, University of Putra Malaysia, Faculty Food Science & Technology, Dept. of Food Technology, Serdang 43400, Malaysia.

From the January 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition