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Sterol-Rich Sunflower Press Oil
Plant sterols or phytosterols (PS) are compounds with proven health benefits. Their richest natural sources are vegetable oils, followed by nuts and legumes. Extracted from plants, free PS are widely used in fortified foods and dietary supplements. In most cases, free PS are extracted using organic solvents that are harmful to human health as well as to the environment. The food industry is currently facing the challenge of obtaining foods enriched with bioactive compounds while applying minimal processing. In this context, the production of PS-enriched seeds may be a good option to increase PS in our diet simply through the intake of vegetable oils.
New phytosterol (PS)-enriched sunflower seeds, which are higher in campesterol and ∆7-stigmastenol, have recently been developed. Crude oils obtained from these new sunflower seeds in 2015 and 2017 were used in this study. Oils extracted only by press (PO) and with subsequent solvent extraction (SO) were characterized. Physical refining (PhR) was used to obtain edible PO by minimal processing and to keep the PS levels as high as possible. Oils obtained by chemical processing were also studied for comparative purposes. Different bleaching treatments were examined to reduce the contents of phospholipids in the PO to levels required for PhR (<10 mg kg−1). Phosphorous levels in PO from 2015 (9–12 mg kg−1) were reduced to optimal levels by bleaching with 0.1% Trisyl and 1% Tonsil 278 FF. Contrarily, treatments with Trisyl and Tonsil (278 FF or 114 FF) were not sufficient to reduce the higher levels in PO from 2017 (15–36 mg/kg−1), thereby they were subjected to chemical refining (ChR). The PhR applied to PO from 2015 did not lead to substantial changes in the composition and total content of PS. In contrast, losses of up to approximately 30% of total PS were found owing to ChR, although the oils preserved their unique PS profiles.
2. Plant Sterols
The entry is from 10.3390/foods10081901
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