Dry fractionation approach in concentrating tocopherols and tocotrienols from palm fatty acid distillate: A green pretreatment process for vitamin E extraction

Phuong Anh Ngoc Doan, Tzyi Horng Tan, Lee Fong Siow, Beng Ti Tey, Eng Seng Chan, Teck Kim Tang, Nur Azwani Abdul Karim, Eng Tong Phuah, Yee Ying Lee

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Palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) is a rich source of vitamin E. As compared to other vegetable oil, PFAD has higher tocotrienol (70–80%) over tocopherol content, which makes it a valuable source for vitamin E extraction. Current vitamin E extraction methods are not sustainable due to the intensive usage of chemical and high operational cost. Hence, the present study investigated for the first time using dry fractionation process as a green and economical pretreatment method for separating solid fraction (stearin) and liquid fraction (olein) in order to concentrate vitamin E from PFAD in olein fraction. We examined the dry fractionation conditions: crystallization ending temperature (36–44 °C), cooling rate (0.3 and 1.5°C min−1), stirring speed (20–125 rpm), and holding time (0–60 min) on the composition of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids as well as vitamin E content in liquid fraction (olein) and solid fraction (stearin) using gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography, respectively. In most of these conditions, vitamin E was ultimately higher in olein fraction as compared to stearin fraction, which is correlated with the high degree of unsaturation. Under a cooling rate of 0.3°C min−1, 90 rpm stirring speed, and ending crystallization of 38 °C, the highest vitamin E rich olein fraction was attained with 1479 ± 10.51 ppm in 50 g olein fraction as compared to 1366 ± 7.94 ppm in 500 g of unfractionated PFAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-620
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Dry fractionation
  • Palm fatty acid distillate
  • Unsaturated and saturated fatty acid
  • Vitamin E

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