Physicochemical and stability characteristics of flaxseed oils during pan-heating

W. S. Choo, E. J. Birch, J. P. Dufour

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Flaxseed oils are used in stir-frying in parts of China. In this study, flaxseed oils were heated at approximately 150 °C as a thin film in a frying pan for 3 and 6 min, respectively. Pan-heating caused loss of tocopherols, plastochromanol-8, phenolic acids and chlorophyll pigments. There was a significant decrease in the linolenic acid resulting in a concomitant relative increase in palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids in the oils after pan heating. Positive CIELAB "b" color value, which indicates yellowness and levels of β-carotene and lutein in these oils showed a 42-56% and 8-53% decrease, respectively. Peroxide values, p-anisidine values, percentage of conjugated dienoic acid, specific extinction at 232 and 270 nm and food oil sensor readings of these oils showed significant increases to levels exceeding good oil quality indices. Acid values only showed one to twofold increase from fresh oil values of 0.65-2.23 mg KOH/g of sample. These results indicate that significant levels of oxidation products would be present in flaxseed oils after pan heating. The flaxseed oil with a lower amount of PUFA appeared to be more degraded suggesting that the major factor affecting the oxidative stability of the flaxseed oils during pan-heating was not the degree of unsaturation but was dependent on the complex interaction between the fatty acids and minor constituents in the oils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorophyll
  • Color
  • Fatty acids
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Oil quality
  • Oxidation
  • Pan-heating
  • Phenolic acid
  • Plastochromanol
  • Tocopherol

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