A chromatographic method for detection of palm oil in butter

Document Type : Original research


1 Department of Food Safety and Quality Control, Research Institute of Food Science and Technology (RIFST), Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Food Chemistry, Research Institute of Food Science and Technology (RIFST), Mashhad, Iran


Replacement with the cheaper animal fats or vegetable oils is conventional in milk through direct incorporation or homogenization of skimmed milk with less expensive foreign fats. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the capability of a simple, fast, and reliable method for the detection of added palm oil in butter. The butter samples were mixed with palm oil (0.5-50 wt%) followed by gas chromatography analysis of fatty acids and sterols. The results confirmed the potential of discrimination based on a significant increase in the content of unsaturated fatty acids (C18:1 and C18:2) and a decrease in saturated fatty acids (mainly C10:0, C12:0, and C14:0). The differences are detectable for at least 10.0 wt% of the palm oil. Also, significant variations were observed in the cholesterol and sitosterol as marker sterols in the butter and palm oil, respectively. The study demonstrates the high potential of the procedure to rapidly detect and discriminate between butter-palm oil blends among pure samples.


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