Fatty acid composition of edible oils derived from certified organic and conventional agricultural methods

Samir Samman*, Jessa W Y Chow, Meika J. Foster, Zia I. Ahmad, Jenny L. Phuyal, Peter Petocz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The objective of this study is to compare the fatty acid composition of commercially available edible oils derived from certified organic and conventional agricultural methods. A total of 59 certified organic and 53 conventional oils were purchased from retail markets in Sydney, Australia. Organic and conventional products were matched for comparison according to the description of production methods, labelled total fat content, brand name (wherever possible), and country of origin. Total fat was extracted and the fatty acid composition of the oils was determined by gas chromatography. No consistent overall trend of difference in the fatty acid composition was observed between organic and conventional oils. Saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids were all significantly different between types of oil (P < 0.001 in all three), and each had significant interaction between type and production method (P = 0.002, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) indicating that organic and conventional oils differed in these components in an inconsistent fashion. Despite this, there were large differences particularly between MUFA and PUFA components in specific pairs of oils, especially in sunflower and mustard seed oils. The absence of an overall difference in the fatty acid composition of organic and conventional oils does not support the tenet that organic foods are of a higher nutritional quality than their conventional counterparts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)670-674
    Number of pages5
    JournalFood Chemistry
    Volume109
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008

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