Enzymatic production of cocoa butter equivalents high in 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-3-stearin in continuous packed bed reactors

Sohee Kim, In Hwan Kim, Casimir C. Akoh, Byung Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to optimize the lipase-catalyzed transesterification of high oleic sunflower oil (A) with a mixture of ethyl palmitate and ethyl stearate (B) to produce cocoa butter equivalents with a weight ratio of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-3-stearoyl-rac-glycerol (POS) to total symmetric monounsaturated triacylglycerols (SMUT) that is similar to that of cocoa butter by response surface methodology. The reaction was performed in a continuous packed bed reactor, using 0.45 g of Lipozyme RM IM as the biocatalyst. The effects of temperature (Te), residence time (RT), substrate molar ratio (SR, B/A), and water content (WC) of the substrates on the composition of reaction products were elucidated using the models established. Optimal reaction conditions for maximizing total SMUT and POS contents while minimizing the levels of diacylglycerol formation and acyl migration were: Te, 60°C; RT, 28.5 min; SR, 8.5; WC, 300 mg/kg. The contents of total SMUT, POS, and diacylglycerol in the reaction products and the content of palmitoyl and stearoyl residues at the sn-2 position of triacylglycerols in the products were 52.0, 25.1, 9.4, and 4.8 %, respectively, under these conditions. Successful scale-up of the reaction was achieved under the optimal conditions, using 5 g of the lipase. A silver-ion high performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that the products obtained by the larger scale reaction contained 49.1 % total SMUT and 6.1 % of their positional isomers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-757
Number of pages11
JournalJAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0005361).


  • 1-Palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-3-stearoyl-rac-glycerol
  • Cocoa butter equivalents
  • Continuous packed bed reactor
  • Lipase
  • Response surface methodology
  • Silver-ion high performance liquid chromatography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry


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