Development of Analytical Methods for Krill Oil and the Next Generation Source of Omega-3’s
Challenge: The objective of this project at Diteba was to develop methods for complete compositional analysis of Krill Oil. Such characterization included total lipid / fat content, phospholipids, free fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol esters, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophosphatidylcholine, sterols, cholesterol, sigmasterol, sigmastanol, sitosterol, vitamin D-3, vitamin E, and carotenoids: canthaxanthin, astaxanthin.
Solution: According to an article published in Inform magazine, an AOCS (American Oil Chemist Society) publication, "Krill, the "pink gold" of the Antarctic, is gaining increasing attention from nutraceutical and functional food formulators because of its novel oil.
Although there have been scattered publications and attempts to analysis Krill Oil, there has never been a systematic compositional analysis. This was due to the lack of commitment or interest or availability of various analytical methods for the separation and analysis of various components in Krill Oil. Diteba was contracted by our sponsor for this analysis and it also holds potential testing opportunities for the future. Understanding Krill oil composition at an early stage would provide knowledge for formulators that could be used for beneficial purposes or avoid pitfalls later during formulation development activities.
Result: In each of the following steps the extraction or analysis method was developed by Diteba.
- Separation of phospholipids, free fatty acids, triglycerides and cholesterol esters using thin layer chromatography (TLC)
- Sterol extraction
- Fatty acid and sterol analysis by Gas Chromatography
- Astaxanthin and Canthaxanthin separation and analysis
- Assay Test for Tocopherol in Krill Oil by HPLC