Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2006
Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Citation: Moreau, R.A. 2008. The use of enzyme test kits for teaching lipid chemistry. In "Teaching innovations in Lipids Science", ed by R. Weselake, CRC Press, lBoca Ratan, pp 215-227. Book Chapter.
Technical Abstract: Many methods are available for the analysis of lipids and other natural products. Although they are rarely used in research laboratories, enzyme-based assays are used extensively for routine analyses in the clinical chemistry and in food analysis laboratories. Many of these enzymatic methods can be purchased as kits that contain one reagent that contains all of the necessary enzymes, buffers, cofactors, and other compounds required to conduct the analyses. Enzyme test kits are available for four types of lipids: cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and free fatty acids. Previously, our laboratory published a paper where we evaluated a commercial enzyme-based serum cholesterol test kit for the analysis of phytosterols (plant sterols) and phytostanols (natural plant sterols that are completely saturated, meaning that they contain no carbon-carbon double bonds). We concluded that the kit could be used for the analysis of phytosterols and phytostanols, but instead of a standard 5 minute incubation required for cholesterol analysis, the incubation time should be increased to 60 minutes. Based on our experience with the cholesterol test kit, this chapter describes how the cholesterol test kit and the three other commercial enzyme-based lipid test kits could be effectively utilized for teaching lipid chemistry and biochemistry.