Isolation & Enrichment of Tocopherols & Phytosterols from Deodorizer Distillate (DOD) of Vegetable Oils

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Deodorizer distillate (DOD) is a by-product obtained during the refining of vegetable oils and is a good source for the isolation of phytosterols and tocopherols. Deodorizer distillate generally contains about 35-40% triglycerides, 40-50% fatty acids, 4-10% sterols and 3-8% tocopherols. Isolation of tocopherols and phytosterols from DOD results in value addition to by-products of vegetable oil processing industry.

Phytosterols exhibit several pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals applications. Tocopherols are natural antioxidants. Alpha- and gamma tocopherols exhibit strong vitamin E and antioxidant activities respectively.


Salient Technical Features


The DOD is converted to fatty acid methyl esters by esterification and trans-esterification in presence of catalyst. Fatty acid methyl esters are distilled out from the esterified product using short path distillation unit and both tocopherols and phytosterols are enriched to required purity using crystallization and distillation techniques.


Scale of implementation


•  2 to 4 kg/batch of DOD


Status of Commercialization


  • Transferred the Process Know-how at 3-4 Kg of DOD to two Indian Industries


Major Raw Materials


•  Deodorizer distillate of soybean oil and sunflower oil (with minimum 5% of tocopherols and phytosterols each) and methanol.


Product Yield and Specifications:


•  Tocopherols (Mixture of alpha, gamma and delta tocopherols): 50-70% pure with 60-70%% yield by GC.

•  Phytosterols (Mixture of Campesterol, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol): 95% pure with 70% yield by GC.

•  By-products: Biodiesel


Major Plant Equipment and Machinery Required


•  STR Reactor, Crystallizer and Short-path distillation unit.


For further information please contact


CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
Uppal Road, Tarnaka,
Hyderabad - 500 007
Phone: +91-40-21791623