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Title:
PROCESS FOR PREPARATION OF TRIGLYCERIDE AND TRIGLYCERIDE COMPOSITION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1991/016443
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C20+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds) is prepared by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its C1-4 lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase. The yield of triglyceride is increased and the amount of mono- and diglyceride decreased by removing water or lower alcohol formed during the reaction, by using positionally non-specific lipase, and/or by using a lipase immobilized by adsorption on a particulate, macroporous adsorbent resin of the acrylic type.

Inventors:
HARALDSSON GUDMUNDUR G (IS)
SVANHOLM HANNE (DK)
HJALTASON BALDUR (IS)
Application Number:
PCT/DK1991/000100
Publication Date:
October 31, 1991
Filing Date:
April 16, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NOVO NORDISK AS (DK)
LYSI HF (IS)
International Classes:
C07C69/30; C07C69/003; C11C3/00; C11C3/02; C11C3/04; C12P7/64; (IPC1-7): C11C3/02; C11C3/06; C12P7/64
Domestic Patent References:
WO1989001032A11989-02-09
Foreign References:
GB2205850A1988-12-21
EP0064855A11982-11-17
EP0322213A21989-06-28
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 11, no. 300 (C - 449)
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS, vol. 111, no. 17, 23 October 1989, Columbus, Ohio, US; abstract no. 152188R, "Synthesis of triglycerides by immobilized lipase" page 580;
DATABASE WPI [online] KANEGAFUCHI CHEM KK: "Prodn. of triglyceride by the aid of lipase - by reacting fatty acid (ester) and glycerol or partial glyceride in presence of lipase", XP003025143, retrieved from 008079604 accession no. Dialog, File 351
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS, vol. 113, no. 11, 10 September 1990, Columbus, Ohio, US; abstract no. 96171G, "Manufacture of triglycerides with low water content with immobilized lipase" page 580;
CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS, vol. 111, no. 25, 18 December 1989, Columbus, Ohio, US; abstract no. 230710W, "Manufacture of eicosapentaenoic acid- or doco=sahexaenoic acid-enriched fats and oils using lipase in supercritica 1 carbon dioxide" page 618;
DATABASE WPI [online] NISSHIN OIL MILLS KK: "Polyunsaturated fatty acid glyceride prodn. - by reacting the acid or its ester with glycerine in presence of heat stable lipase", XP003025144, retrieved from 007153958 accession no. Dialog, File 351
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A process for the preparation of a triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C20+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds), by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its C^ lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase, characterized by removing water or lower alcohol by evaporation during the reaction.
2. A process according to Claim 1 , wherein water or lower alcohol is removed under vacuum below 20 Pa, preferably at 4080°C.
3. A process for the preparation of a triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C20+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds), by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase, characterized in that the lipase is positionally non¬ specific.
4. A process according to Claim 3, wherein the lipase is derived from a strain of Candida, most preferably C. antarctica.
5. A process according to Claim 3 or 4, further characterized as in Claim 1 or 2.
6. A process according to any preceding claim, wherein the lipase is immobilized. SUBSTITUTE SHE .
7. A process for the preparation of a triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C2Q+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds), by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its C| .4 lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase, characterized in that the lipase is immobilized by 5 adsorption on a particulate, macroporous adsorbent resin of the acrylic type.
8. A process according to Claim 7, further characterized as in any of Claims 1 5.
9. A process according to any preceding claim, wherein the free fatty acid or ester in the reaction mixture is at least 90% pure, preferably at least 95% pure,.
10. and most preferably at least 98% pure.
11. 10 A process according to any preceding claim, wherein no buffer or organic solvent is used.
12. A process according to any preceding claim, whereby the reaction time is below 30 hours.
13. 15 12.
14. A process according to any preceding claim, wherein the polyunsaturated fatty acid is eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid or a combination of these.
15. A process according to any preceding claim, using a stoichiometric excess of 050% (preferably 020%) of the fatty acid or ester relative to glycerol.
16. A process according to any preceding claim, wherein the reactant free acid or ester is a free fatty acid or a methyl or ethyl ester.
17. A triglyceride composition, characterized by at least 95 % by weight (preferably at least 98%) of the fatty acids in the triglyceride molecules being poiy unsaturated C| 3.22 acid.
18. A composition according to Claim 16, wherein the polyunsaturated acid is eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid or a mixture of these. SUBSTITUTE SHEE.
Description:
PROCESS FOR PREPARATION OF TRIGLYCERIDE AND TRIGLYCERIDE COMPOSITION

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a process for the preparation of a triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C20+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds), by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its

C- j .4 lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase. The invention also relates to a triglyceride composition with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acid.

BACKGROUND ART

It is known that triglycerides of poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) , such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have beneficial medical effects, and within the last decade much attention has been directed to methods of producing triglyceride compositions with a high content of these acids, and particularly a high content of triglycerides with three such acids in the molecule. PUFA in the form of free fatty acid or lower alky! (e.g. methyl or ethyl) ester is available in high purity and have been used to prepare triglycerides with high PUFA content.

Thus, JP-A 61-43143 (Nisshin Flour Mill et al.) and EP 300,844 (R.F. Azar et al.) describe chemical interesterification of lower alkyl PUFA ester with triacetin or tributyrin. Sodium methylate was used as catalyst, and vacuum was used to remove lower alkyl acetate or butyrate formed in the reaction. The former describes production of triglyceride with 90% PUFA content.

JP-A 61-246146 (Nissui Seiyaku) describes halogenation of PUFA free acid, followed by reaction of PUFA acyl chloride with glycerine. The first step was carried out with oxalyl chloride at 65-90°C for 4 hours, and the second step under reflux for several hours in chloroform in the presence of quinoline or pyridine.

SUBS

The above-mentioned processes use highly reactive chemicals that require special precautions in handling, these reactive chemicals react with part of the labile PUFA acyl groups, and the resulting reaction mixture in each case requires complex purification. JP-A 62-91188 (Nisshin Oil) describes lipase-catalyzed production of

PUFA glycerides from glycerol and PUFA free acid or ethyl ester, using positionally specific lipase in native form or immobilized on a weakly basic anion exchange resin. It is stated that addition of water is necessary. After reaction and removal of unreacted fatty acid, the glyceride mixture contained at most 86% triglyceride together with at least 14% diglyceride + monoglyceride. The product contained at most 85% polyunsaturated fatty acids together with at least 15% of other fatty acids.

It is an object of the invention to provide a simple process, avoiding the use of aggressive chemicals, to produce triglyceride with a low content of mono- and diglycerides, having a high content of PUFA, especially a high content of triglycerides with three PUFA in the molecule. It is also an object to provide triglyceride compositions with high PUFA content.

STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

We have found that the yield of triglyceride can be increased and the amount of mono- and diglyceride decreased by removing water or lower alcohol formed during the reaction, by using positionally non-specific lipase, or by using a lipase immobilized by adsorption on a particulate, macroporous adsorbent resin of the acrylic type.

Accordingly, the invention provides a process for the preparation of a triglyceride wherein all three fatty acids are C20+ polyunsaturated fatty acids (with at least three double bonds), by esterification of glycerol with free polyunsaturated fatty acid or its C- ) . 4 lower alkyl ester in the presence of a lipase. In the first aspect of the invention, the process is characterized by removing water or lower alcohol by evaporation during the reaction. In another aspect, the process is characterized in

SUBSTITUTE SH

that the lipase is positionally non-specific. In a third aspect, the process is characterized in that the lipase is immobilized by adsorption on a particulate, macro- porous adsorbent resin of the acrylic type.

The invention also provides a triglyceride composition, characterized by at least 95% by weight (preferably at least 98%) of the fatty acids in the triglyceride molecules being polyunsaturated C 18 .22 acid.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Polyunsaturated fatty acid

The process of the invention is applicable to C*2ø+ PUFA with 3 or more double bonds such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C2Q-5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C^- β )-

Thus, the process of the invention can be used to prepare triglyceride compositions with high content of PUFA by using a reactant mixture wherein the free acid or lower alkyl ester contains at least 90%, preferably at least 95% and most preferably at least 98%, of PUFA. In this way it is possible to prepare triglyceride with PUFA in all three positions in good yield. In this connection, it has surprisingly been found that pure EPA or DHA is incorporated particularly fast.

Preferably, the PUFA reactant is free fatty acid, methyl or ethyl ester; These are easily available, and the resulting water, methanol or ethanol is very volatile and is easily removed.

The PUFA free fatty acid or ester may be prepared by known methods, and some are commercially available in high purity, e.g. EPA and DHA as free acid and ethyl ester in 99% purity from Idemitsu Petro Chemical Co., Ltd., Japan.

Lipase The lipase should be sufficiently thermostable for the temperature and reaction time in question, e.g. 24 hours at 40-80°C. It is preferred to use immobilized lipase.

SU

One aspect of the invention uses a positionally non-specific lipase. {Examples of non-specific lipases are those derived from strains of Candida, especial¬ ly C. antarctica lipase (WO 88/02775, incorporated herein by reference), and lipase from C. rugosa (also known as C. cylindracea). It is particularly preferred to use a 5 lipase preparation containing both lipase A and lipase B of C. antarctica described in said reference.

Positionally specific (1 ,3-specific) lipase may be used in some embodiments of the invention. Examples are lipase derived from Humicola, especially H. lanuginosa (WO 89/06278) and recombinant Humicola lipase (EP 0 305,216) and Mucor lipase (EP 140,542).

One aspect of the invention uses lipase immobilized by adsorption on a particulate, macroporous adsorbent (i.e. non-ionic) resin of the acrylic type according to WO 89/02916.

An example of a lipase preparation that may be used is SP 382 from 15 Novo Nordisk A/S (mixture of lipases A and B from C. antarctica, immobilized according to WO 89/02916).

Reaction conditions

A suitable amount of lipase is generally in the range 0.5 - 10 BlU/g (typically 1-5 BlU/g) of reactant mixture (BIU = Batch Interesterificatioπ Unit, see WO 20 89/06278) by use of immobilized lipase, or 50 - 500 LU/g of oil (LU = Lipase Unit, see WO 88/02775) by use of native (non-immobilized) lipase.

It is preferable to use the two reactants at about the stoichiometric ratio or with a moderate excess (e.g. 0-50%, especially 0-20%) of the PUFA acid or ester.

It is preferable to let the reaction continue until at least 90% (particularly more than

25 95, especially more than 98%) of the glycerol has been converted into triglyceride.

It is generally not necessary to use a pH buffer or an organic solvent in the process.

A temperature of 40-80°C, especially 60-80°C, is generally suitable for the reaction and the evaporation. The reaction time will generally be from 24 - 48 30 hours.

SUBSTITU

Removal of volatile alcohol or water

The removal by evaporation of volatile alcohol or water may be done continuously from a stirred tank. Reactants may be added batch wise, semi-batch wise or continuously. If the lipase is immobilized it can be separated off after the reaction and reused.

Alternatively, the reaction may occur in two or more steps, and evaporation can be done between the steps. Each process step can be made in a stirred tank, or immobilized lipase can be used continuously in a fixed bed.

The evaporation is most conveniently done under vacuum, e.g. below 200 Pa and especially below 20 Pa.

EXAMPLES

EXAMPLE 1

Preparation of triαlvcerides containing approx. 85% EPA/DHA

Immobilized lipase derived from Candida antarctica (SP-382from Novo Nordisk A/S; activity approx. 30 BlU/g; 1.53g; moisture-free) was added to a mixture of glycerol (99% from Sigma; 1.37g, 14.9 mmol) and 87% PUFA (free acid) concentrate (55% EPA and 32% DHA; M.wt. 311.0 g/mol; 14.1g, 45.3 mmol). The mixture was gently stirred on a magnetic stirrer hot-plate at 65°C under continuous vacuum of 0.1 mm Hg. The volatile water or lower alcohol, when using lower alkyl ester concentrates, produced during the progress of the reaction was continuously condensed into a liquid nitrogen cooled trap, which could be separated and weighed regularly during the process by disconnecting the reaction by replacing the vacuum with dry nitrogen or argon atmosphere. After 30 hours the reaction was discontinued, hexane added and the enzyme separated off by filtration. The hexane was removed in vacuo on a rotary evaporator. Titration was applied to determine the free fatty acid content of the crude reaction product (3% FFA content, corresponding to 97% incorporation, which is equivalent to 91% triglyceride content). The titration results were confirmed by iatroscan studies, which indicated 91% triglyceride

SUBS

content, after the product had been freed from free fatty acids by washing the organic phase a few times with 0.25M sodium hydroxide in 1 :1 water/ethanol solution. 100% pure triglycerides were afforded by preparatory High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) eluting with 10% ether in hexane solvent, which was confirmed by Iatroscan studies. Capillary Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC) analysis showed fatty acid composition identical to the original PUFA concentrate.

The following equation was used to calculate the % incorporation of fatty acids into glycerol from the weight measurements: %incorporation = 1.7L [ t water /Wt glycerol ] • 100%

This was deduced from the following equation:

%incorp . = 1/3 • [# of eq. of entrapped water/

# of eq. of glycerol used] * 100% = 1/3 • [ t water /M.Wt water ]/ [Wt glycerol /M.Wt glycerol ] • 100%

= 1/3 • [Wt water /Wt glycerol ] • [M.wt glycerol /M.Wt water ] • 100%

. [92.1/18.0] - 100%

= 1.71. [ t water /Wt glycerol ] • 100%

The following results were obtained:

SUBSTITUTE SH

The incorporation was determined by mass measurements of the entrapped product. The minimum incorporation was based on the assumption that all the moisture had escaped from the immobilized lipase.

** Due to inaccuracy in the mass measurements the minimum incorporation passes the 100% incorporation level.

EXAMPLE 2

Preparation of triαlvcerides containing approx. 60-70% EPA/DHA

The procedure of Example 1 was followed in details by using immobilized lipase SP-382 (1.1 Og; 10% moisture content), which was added to a mixture of glycerol (1.00g, 10.9 mmol) and 66% PUFA concentrate (38% EPA and

28% DHA; M.wt. 309.5 g/mol; 10.2g, 33.0 mmol) or 59% PUFA concentrate (29%

EPA and 30% DHA; M.wt. 306.4 g/mol; 10.1 g; 33.0 mmol). The following results were found:

incorporation*

Time, 59% PUFA 66% PUFA hours mm. max. mm. max .

The incorporation was determined by mass measurements of the entrapped product. The minimum incorporation was based on the assumption that all the moisture had escaped from the immobilized lipase.

** Due to inaccuracy in the mass measurements the minimum incorporation passes the 100% incorporation level.

SUB

EXAMPLE 3

Preparation of triglycerides containing 99% EPA

Immobilized lipase SP 382 (0.50 g; moisture-free) was added to a mixture of glycerol (99% from Sigma; 0.44 g, 4.78 mmol) and 99% EPA as free fatty acids (M.wt. 302.5 g/mol; 4.40 g, 14.54 mmol). The mixture was gently stirred on a magnetic stirrer hot-plate at 65°C under continuous vacuum of 0.5 - 0.1 mmHg. The volatile water produced during the progress of the reaction was continuously condensed into a liquid nitrogen cooled trap, which could be separated and weighed regularly during the process by disconnecting the reaction by replacing the vacuum with dry nitrogen or argon atmosphere. After 30 hours the reaction was discontinued, hexane added and the enzyme separated off by filtration. The organic solvent was removed in vacuo on a rotary evaporator to afford the crude product as a slightly yellowish oil (4.18 g, 93%). Weight measurements indicated 105 - 108% incorporation, but NMR spectroscopy indicated 98% incorporation, which had increased to 99% after 48 hours. Titration was applied to determine the free acid content of the crude reaction product (less than 1 % FFA content, corresponding to at least 99% incorporation, which is equivalent to 97% triglyceride content). The crude product was directly introduced into HPLC eluting with 10% ether in hexane solvent to afford 100% pure triglycerides (3.51 g, 84% recovery from HPLC, but overall yield 78%) which was confirmed by iatroscan studies. r250 MHZ -IH NMR (CDCty: δ 5.41-5.26 (m, 31 H, =C-H and -CH 2 -CH- CH 2 -), 4.30 (dd,J = 11.90 Hz, J = 4.34 Hz, 2 H, -CH 2 -CH-CH 2 -), 4.14 (dd.J = 11.90 Hz, J = 5.93 Hz, 2 H, -CH 2 -CH-CH 2 -), 2.90-2.78 (m, 24 H, =C-CH 2 -C=), 2.33 (t,J = 7.34 Hz, 2H, OOC-CH 2 -) . 2.32 (t,J = 7.36 Hz, 4 H, OOC-CH 2 -), 2.15-2.01 (m, 12 H, -CH 2 -CH 2 -C=), 1.75-1.61 (m, 6H, =CH-CH 2 -CH 3 ), and 0.97 ppm (t,J = 7.52 Hz, 9 H, -CH 3 ). 13 C NMR (CDCty: δ 172.9(s), 172.6(s), 132.0(d), 128.9(d), 128.7(d), 128.5(d), 128.2(d), 128.1 (d), 128.1 (d), 128.0(d), 127.8(d), 127.0(d), 68.9(d), 62.1 (t), 33.5(t), 33.3(t), 26.4(t), 25.6(t), 25.6(t), 25.5(t), 24.7(t), 24.6(t), 20.5(t) and 14.2 ppm(q), IR (neat liquid): v max 3020 (vs,C=C-H), 2970 (s, CH 3 ), 2935 (s, CH 2 ), 2875 (s, CH 3 ), 2850 (w, CH 2 ), 1745 (vs, C=0) and 1645 cm -1 (ms, C=C). m/e (El): 945

SUBSTITUTE S

(M + , 100%); found 944.68784 C 63 H 92 0 6 requires 944.68939 amu]. The following results were obtained:

* The incorporation was determined by mass measurements of the entrapped product. The minimum incorporation was based on the assumption that all the moisture had escaped from the immobilized lipase.

EXAMPLE 4

Preparation of triglycerides containing 99% DHA

Immobilized lipase SP 382 (0.50 g; moisture-free) was added to a mixture of glycerol (99% from Sigma; 0.41 g, 4.45 mmol) and 99% DHA as free fatty acids (M.wt. 328.5 g/mol; 4.43 g, 13.48 mmol). The mixture was gently stirred on a magnetic stirrer hot-plate at 65°C under continuous vacuum of 0.5 - 0.1 mmHg. The volatile water produced during the progress of the reaction was continuously condensed into a liquid nitrogen cooled trap, which could be separated and weighed regularly during the process by disconnecting the reaction by replacing the vacuum with dry nitrogen or argon atmosphere. After 30 hours the reaction was discontinued, hexane added and the enzyme separated off by filtration. The organic

SU

solvent was removed in vacuo on a rotary evaporator to afford the crude product as a slightly yellowish oil (4.36 g, 95%). Weight measurements indicated 100 - 106% incorporation which remained constant from 24 to 72 hours, whereas NMR spectroscopy indicated 97% incorporation after 24 hours which had increased to 5 100% after 72 hours. The crude product was directly introduced into HPLC eluting with 10% ether in hexane solvent to afford pure triglycerides (3.46 g, 80% recovery from HPLC, but overall yield 76%) which was confirmed by iatroscan studies. f250 MHz-lH NMR (CDCI3): δ 5.44-5.25 (m, 37 H, =C-H and -CH 2 -CH- CH 2 -), 4.30 (dd,J = 11.90 Hz, J = 4.36 Hz, 2 H, -CH 2 -CH-CH 2 -), 4.15 (dd,J = 11.90 10 Hz, J = 5.89 Hz, 2 H, -CH 2 -CH-CH 2 -), 2.90-2.79 (m, 30 H, =C-CH 2 -C=), 2.39-2.38 (m, A 2 B 2 , 12 H, -^H-C^-C^-COOH), 2.13-2.02 (m, 6 H, =CH-CH 2 -CH 3 ), and 0.97 ppm (t,J = 7.53 Hz, 9 H, -CH 3 ). 13 C NMR (CDCty: δ 172.5(s), 172.1 (s), 132.0(d), 129.5(d), 128.5(d), 128.3(d), 128.3(d), 128.2(d), 128.2(d), 128.0(d), 127.9(d), 127.8(d), 127.6(d), 127.0(d), 69.0(d), 62.2(t), 34.0(t), 33.8(t), 25.6(t), 25.6(t), 15 25.6(t), 25.6(t), 25.5(t), 22.6(t), 20.5(t) and 14.2 ppm(q), IR (neat liquid): v maχ 3020 (vs,C=C-H), 2970 (S, CH^, 2930 (s, CH 2 ), 2870 (s, CH3), 2850 (w, CH 2 ), 1750 (vs, C=0) and 1650 cm -1 (ms, C=C). m/e (El): 1023 (M + , 100%); found 1022.7340 CggHg 8 Og requires 1022.7363 amu].

The following results were obtained:

SUBSTITUTE

* The incorporation was determined by mass measurements of the entrapped product. The minimum incorporation was based on the assumption that all the moisture had escaped from the immobilized lipase.

EXAMPLE S

Preparation of triglycerides with reuse of lipase

Immobilized lipase SP-382 (9.31 g; moisture-free) was added to a mixture of glycerol (9.00g; 97.7 mmol) and free fatty acids from cod liver oil (9% EPA and 9% DHA; M.wt. 285.0 g/mol; 84.1 g; 295 mmol). The mixture was gently stirred at 65°C under a continuous vacuum of 0.1 mm Hg. The volatile water produced during the progress of the reaction was condensed into a liquid nitrogen cooled trap, which was weighed regularly during the progress of the reaction. After 48 hours the reaction was discontinued and the lipase directly separated off without an organic solvent by filtration under dry nitrogen by the aid of a pressure equalized funnel equipped with a sintered glass fitter plate and inlets/outlets to the nitrogen and the vacuum lines to aid the filtration, which was controlled by teflon key stopcocks. The oil was collected for further analysis.

The immobilized lipase was reintroduced into the reaction vessel. This was repeated 5 times, reusing the same immobilized lipase. The following results were obtained:

* As determined by mass measurements of the entrapped product after 48 hours.

SUBS