Fatty acid profiles of New Zealand-grown and imported pine nuts
Pine nuts (Pinus spp.) are becoming more popular in New Zealand cuisine and so their availability has increased. They have a unique taste because they contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids . They are an excellent source of dietary fatty acids, such as linoleic and oleic acids. Pine nuts are either locally-grown or imported and informal reports suggest that each cultivar has a very different taste because of the different patterns of fatty acids found in each of the cultivars. Five different cultivars of pine nuts were harvested from trees growing in Marlborough and the fatty acid profiles were compared to samples of imported pine nuts available in local supermarkets. Individual fatty acids in each sample of nuts were analysed using FastGLC methods and the fatty acids were identified by mass spectrometry. Local fresh pine nuts contained high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, oleic and linoleic acid. They also contained several Δ5-olefinic fatty acids, taxoleic, pinolenic, coniferonic, eicosadienoic, sciadonic and eicosatrienoic which are characteristic of gymnosperms. The pattern of these Δ5-olefinic fatty acids can be used to determine the botanical origin of the pine nuts and can assist in the identification of the country of origin. Conclusion: Pine nuts are generally assumed to be sourced from European stone pine (P. pinea), however, this analysis shows that imported pine nuts are not P. pinea. The pinolenic acid content of pine nuts is particularly interesting as it has been shown to have LDL-lowering properties and appears to suppress hunger when eaten.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research090801 Food Chemistry and Molecular Gastronomy (excl. Wine)
TypeConference Contribution - Unpublished (Conference Poster)
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