Formulated Squalene for Food Related Applications
Maria Z. Tsimidou.
Squalene (SQ), the sterol precursor in all cell types, is a functional lipid of high importance, as currently an array
of benefits to human health are recognized. It has chemopreventive and photooxidative properties, it protects human
from coronary heart diseases and is also used to maintain skin health. Technological properties of SQ have been widely
appreciated in fields beyond human consumption. Moreover, SQ forms stable nanoemulsions and, as found in several conformations,
it forms SQ-drug conjugates with improved properties and potentially can be used as an important bioactive
ingredient carrier. As far as food applications are concerned, its thermal stability and contribution in the stability of frying
oils are well established. All of the above properties increased both food and non-food SQ applications so that its current
demand in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals is getting higher. Sharks, the richest SQ source, are endangered species.
Consequently, the need for search of new SQ sources, mainly of plant origin, is increased. Biotechnology gives also
some interesting alternatives. In this review article, the most recent patents regarding SQ extraction, production as well as
its food-related applications are presented. Squalane, the hydrogenated counterpart of squalene, is also discussed.
Keywords: Food applications, functional lipid, microorganisms, olive oil distillates, squalene, squalene patents, squalene production.
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