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J Lipid Res. 1986 Jan;27(1):114-20.

Direct transesterification of all classes of lipids in a one-step reaction.


Conventional techniques for the determination of fatty acid composition of lipids require solvent extraction, purification, hydrolysis, and derivatization procedures that are both lengthy and cumbersome. A 1-hr direct transesterification procedure carried out in methanol-benzene 4:1 with acetyl chloride circumvented all these steps and was applicable for analysis of both simple (triglycerides) and complex lipids (cholesteryl esters, phospholipids, and sphingomyelin). Recoveries (greater than 95%) of standards unaffected by the presence of 5% water and 200 mg of silica suggested that the technique could be used for the quantitative analysis of total fatty acids as well as of fatty acids in classes of lipids separated on silica from biological samples. When compared to the Folch procedure, the technique led to a 20.1% increase in total fatty acids for plasma, 3.9% for feces, 7.4% for bile, and 9.7% for rat liver. We therefore conclude that this one-step direct transesterification procedure is superior to currently used methods, not only because of its simplicity and speed, but also because of its added precision.

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