Submitted to: American Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2014
Publication Date: April 23, 2014
Citation: Holser, R.A. 2014. Docosahexaenoic acid ester degradation measured by FTIR-ATR with correlation spectroscopy. American Journal of Analytical Chemistry. 5(6):373-377. Interpretive Summary: Breakdown and loss of nutritional quality occurs for the unsaturated fatty acids that are found in fish oil. Many foods are now fortified with fish oils to impart the recognized health benefits associated with a diet rich in fish. A rapid technique to measure the breakdown of fish oil fatty acids was developed by heating samples and collecting spectra while the samples degraded. These results were used to identify changes in the sample that corresponded to the chemical breakdown. This approach provides a method to quickly measure the breakdown of fish oils and is expected to be quite useful in the food and animal industries.
Technical Abstract: Highly unsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid and linolenic acid are prone to oxidation with a resulting loss of bioactivity and generation of malodorous degradation compounds. Degradation proceeds by formation of the corresponding hydroperoxyl free radical with subsequent oxidative cleavage at the double bond site. FTIR-ATR was used to detect degradation through spectral changes that were correlated to oxidative degradation. The spectrometer was equipped with a heated stage so that a series of spectra could be collected while the sample was exposed to elevated temperatures. The appearance of new bands at 972.8 cm-1, 2934 cm-1, and 3498 cm-1 with the disappearance of bands at 703.6 cm-1 and 3013 cm-1 were observed after heating and these spectral changes were evaluated by correlation spectroscopy analysis. These results provide a method to quickly detect the oxidative degradation of polyunsaturated fats. This approach is expected to be applied for the quality assessment of feed formulations fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.