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.
- Dry fractionation
- Palm fatty acid distillate
- Unsaturated and saturated fatty acid
- Vitamin E