TS No. 11: Polymorphic Determination of Crystals Of Palm Oil and its Products Using TTRAX III Rotating Anode Diffractor Meter

Polymorphism is defined as the ability of a chemical compound to form different crystalline structures. The three basic polymorphic forms of fats are !, “’ and “. The !-form is the least stable and has the lowest melting temperature and the “-form the most stable with the highest melting temperature. The “’ has intermediate characteristics (Sato, 1999). Palm oil crystals can be expressed in three polymorphic forms, namely, !, “’ and “, depending on the conditions under which they are crystallized from melt or solution. Usage of the correct polymorphic form in food is important as it affects the texture and taste of the food product. For example, the crystals may need to either melt very quickly or very slowly in order to give a cool sensation in the mouth without any waxy aftertaste orto enable slow flavourrelease,respectively. Also the texture of food products are affected by the polymorphic form of the crystals. For example, margarine has to be in the “’ form for a smooth texture while some consumers may prefer their vegetable ghee to be course and granular(“-form). Hence, it is important that the right polymorphic form be achieved in the food products (Deman, 1994).

Main Research: Dr Chong Chiew Let