Nanoencapsulation of Fish Oil and Essential Fatty Acids

ismail Tontul1,2, Emrah Eroglu1 and Ayhan Topuz1

1Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey, 2Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

INTRODUCTION TO ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Fatty acids are the simplest and basic unit of lipids and are generally classified into two groups, which are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. They consist of a carbon chain (—CH2—), which ends with methyl (—CH3) and carboxylic acid (—COOH) groups. Fatty acids are required for lots of biological functions which are vital for normal function of the body and good health.

The fatty acids differ in the number of carbons in their chain and the number and presence of carbon-to-carbon double bonds. According to the distance between methyl end and the double bond, they are classified as omega-9, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids. Oleic acid is the most important omega-9 fatty acid. The richest source of oleic acid is olive oil but significant amount is found in almost all fatty foods. Linoleic and arachidonic acids are the most important omega-6 fatty acids. They can be used in the transformation of higher fatty acids in human body by some elongation and desaturation reactions. These fatty acids are dominant in human body because of high content of omega-6 fatty acids in our diet. a-Linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most important omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for humans since our body cannot produce these fatty acids due to lack of specific desaturase enzymes. Therefore, they must be taken by diet. However, human body can transform these fatty acids to each other by several steps of elongation, desaturation, and oxidation reactions (Benatti, Peluso, Nicolai, & Calvani, 2004). The rate of these transformations depends on gender, age, and physiological status. In general, low transformation rates are shown from ALA to EPA or DHA in humans (Walker, Decker, & McClements, 2015a). Therefore, the best way to increase plasma levels of these fatty acids is to consume the foods that contain high amount of them. In different studies, it is suggested to increase omega-3/omega-6 ratio in our diet (Simolopoulos, 1989). Different international organizations recomended to get

Nanoencapsulation of Food Bioactive Ingredients. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809740-3.00003-9

© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

more than 1% of energy from long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs; Force, 1992; Sugano, 1996).

 
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