Application Note: The Analysis of Edible Oils Using ATR FTIR
7 September 2017

Edible oils are a series of related natural compounds differing in their degree of unsaturation and chain length. Chemically, these compounds are esters of various fatty acids with a single trifunctional alcohol (glycerol), and are hence called triglycerides. The degree of unsaturation of an edible oil is considered an important factor in its suitability as a food product and this application note - involving six different types of natural oil - shows how infrared spectroscopy can be complementary to traditional techniques for analyzing such oils. It is comparatively easy to identify absorbance bands that can be assigned to C-H vibrations in both saturated and unsaturated compounds. Peak height or area measurements allow the degree of unsaturation to be measured.