Purification and identification of rice bran oil fatty acid steryl and wax esters

Setiyo Gunawan, Shaik Ramjan Vali, Yi Hsu Ju*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Fatty acid steryl esters (FASE) and wax esters (WE) of rice bran oil (RBO) have potential applications in cosmetic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical formulations. FASE and WE were extracted from RBO by a modified Soxhlet extraction using hexane as the solvent. FASE and WE were then separated by storage in acetone at 10°C for 24 h. The FASE fraction was further purified by silica gel column chromatography. The contents and compositions of FASE and WE, as well as their saponified products, were identified by CC and CC-MS. The identification of FASE and WE was carried out by comparing the retention time of GC peaks and mass spectral analysis with standards synthesized in our laboratory. FASE and WE accounted for ca. 4.0% of crude RBO, of which 2.8-3.2% and 1.2-1.4% are FASE and WE, respectively. GC-MS of FASE showed five major peaks. Major FA in the FASE fraction were linoleic acid and oleic acid, which were esterified with 4-desmethyl, 4-monomethyl, and 4,4-dimethyl sterols. The contents of 4-desmethylsterol, 4-monomethylsterol, and 4,4-dimethylsterol esters in crude RBO were 76.1, 8.7, and 15.1%, respectively. WE of RBO consisted of both even and odd carbon numbers ranging from C44 to C64. The major constituents were saturated esters of C22 and C 24 FA and C24 to C40 aliphatic alcohols, with C24 and C30 being the predominant FA and fatty alcohol, respectively. The advantages of using a modified Soxhlet extraction over column chromatography are less solvent usage and larger sample size per batch with shorter operation time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalJAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acid
  • Fatty acid steryl ester
  • GC-MS
  • Phytosterol
  • Rice bran oil
  • Soxhlet extraction
  • TLC
  • Wax ester


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