Category Archives: 2015 Vol 27 June

A HISTOLOGICAL STUDY OF OIL PALM (Elaeis guineensis) ENDOSPERM DURING SEED DEVELOPMENT

Information on histological features of oil palm is scarce, especially on seed development. This study aims to examine the cell structure and anatomy of developing oil palm seed. The seeds were analysed by histochemical technique and light microscopy. At early developmental stages, a vacuole fluid-filled endosperm was formed. As the seed developed further, the enlargement of the endosperm size was observed accompanied by cellularisation. Cells were formed from the periphery towards the centre of the endosperm. Accumulation of storage reserves within the cells started at week 10 after anthesis. Polysaccharides were stored in the form of thickened walls whilst lipid and protein were stored in the cytoplasm. At late developmental stages, the endosperm cavity was fully cellularised and storage reserves accumulated within the entire cell. A small cylindrical embryo was seen embedded within the massive endosperm tissue. The endosperm functions as a nutrient reservoir for the embryo. This histological study of developing oil palm seeds provides information on the nature and anatomical changes in endosperm tissues as well as shedding light on the growing points of seed development.

DEVELOPMENT OF AN EFFECTIVE SSR-BASED FINGERPRINTING SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL PLANTING MATERIALS AND BREEDING APPLICATIONS IN OIL PALM

DNA fingerprints provide the basis for genetic diversity studies and molecular breeding. However, routine and commercial scale DNA fingerprinting in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) remains challenged by the need for a robust yet low cost method. In addition, there is also a need for a precise and reliable marker set capable of distinguishing oil palm genotypes within narrow and mixed genetic population bases at the individual and population level. With the rapid evolution of genotyping and sequencing technologies, a wide range of genotyping tools have been developed but are not yet commercially feasible for oil palm. Consequently, we tested the feasibility of using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to genotype oil palm breeding and commercial planting materials of restricted and mixed parentage from Advanced Agriecological Research Sdn Bhd (AAR). The results obtained from screening 33 palms using a selected set of 17 highly polymorphic and informative SSR markers obtained from an initial set of 23 SSR, showed that clones, crosses and sibs within crosses could be separated by their DNA fingerprints. However, as expected palms within clones could not be separated. In another test exercise at the population scale, the four variable but related populations: Deli; Dumpy Deli x Yangambi x AVROS; Dumpy Deli x AVROS; Dumpy Deli x AVROS x La Me; were distinctly separated using 11 SSR from the same pool of 23 polymorphic SSR. There is good potential for this set of 11 SSR markers to be developed for general applicability across all E. guineensis oil palm genetic materials and for use in the Malaysian Plant Variety Protection Act. The set of SSR markers also serve as the base set for the development of marker-assisted and genome-wide selection at AAR.

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LIGNIN IN ROOTS OF DIFFERENT OIL PALM PROGENIES IN RELATIO N TO Ganoderma BASAL STEM ROT DISEASE

Basal stem rot (BSR) disease caused by Ganoderma boninense Pat., a serious constraint to oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) in South-east Asia, namely Malaysia and Indonesia, is also becoming a threat in Africa and Latin America. Currently, no complete management is available although Ganoderma tolerant oil palm is likely to have a crucial role in the management of the disease in the future. In this study, oil palm progenies exhibiting different reactions to Ganoderma BSR were investigated. Lignin in their roots was detected by phloroglucinol-HCl. The intensity of burgundy red colour developed after staining varied among progenies, indicating differences in lignin content but this was a subjective qualitative approach. A quantitative approach following the modified Klason method was then used. Uninoculated progenies TK 714 and TK 716 were significantly different in lignin content at six to seven months but 10 months later, lignin contents of all uninoculated progenies were similar, while that of inoculated plants exhibited some small but significant differences. Nevertheless, the accumulation of lignin did not correlate well with susceptibility or tolerance to BSR and consequently, lignin content may not be a reliable trait to characterise oil palm progenies for Ganoderma tolerance or susceptibility in screening tests.

ENZYME PROFILE OF THE OIL PALM (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) PEST Coelaenomenodera lameensis Berti AND Mariau (Coleoptera: chryomelidae, hispinae) ACCORDING TO THE DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENT STAGES

Coelaenomenodera lameensis Berti and Mariau, (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) is the most important oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) leaf miner pest in Ivory Coast,West Africa. The leaf miner activity of C. lameensis was higher in instars 1-3 (L1-L3) larvae. Analysis of the enzymatic profiles indicated that instars 1 and 2 larvae are the most powerful ones in polysaccharides degradation activity, higher gain being obtained with xylan (28 μg of glucose equivalent released per minute (U) per milligramme of protein) and laminarin (18 U mg-1). The most important heterosidasic activities were detected in L3 larvae and to a lesser extent in L1-2. The β-glucoside was hydrolysed at an activity rate higher than 400 U mg-1 by L3 larvae. The β-xylosidasic and N-acetyl-glucosaminidasic activities were respectively 39.13 and 35.81 U mg-1 for L1-2 and 34.9 and 36.39 U mg-1 for L3 larvae. The data suggested that the majority of carbohydrate digestion occurs in the L1-2, and L3 instars. Enzymatic profiles of L4 larvae and adults were characterised by low activities. Finally, the feeding behaviour (foraging activity) and the enzymatic activities were all linked, underlying the digestive capability of each developmental stage of C. lameensis. The main digestive enzymes of this pest are identified, the search for inhibitors of these enzymes may be considered.

EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND GHG OF PALM POLYOL PRODUCTION USING LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT APPROACH

Presently, very few life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have been conducted and reported on the production of palm polyol. Previously, most of the LCA studies on the polyol production are limited to petroleum, soya or castor polyol. In this study, a LCA of a palm polyol was performed. The objective of this study is to identify any potential environmental impacts that could be associated with the production of palm polyol. The cradle-to-gate system boundary for the production of palm polyol shows that the most significant impact from the palm polyol production comes from the energy use at the polyol plant. This impact is mainly contributed by electricity, and production of hydrogen peroxide and formic acid that were used during the epoxidation process. The largest greenhouse gasses (GHG) contribution was from consumption of electricity from the national grid that was mainly used for pilot plant polyol process. However, from this study, about 29% reduction in the GHG emissions generated by the production of palm polyol could be achieved by using the best approach normally used in oil palm industry which is using continued land use and biogas capture scenario.

DETECTION OF FFA AND PV VALUES USING FTIR FOR QUALITY MEASUREMENT IN PALM OIL FRYING ACTIVITIES

Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR) instrument has been used for rapid analysis in several investigations. The analysis of frying oil quality was carried out using FTIR. FTIR profiles of commercial palm oil during short-term fish frying were performed on free fatty acid (FFA) and peroxide values (PV) correlation using multivariate statistics to confirm the oil quality. Two batches of commercial palm oil were repeatedly used for nine times to fry catfish. Each frying was done at 180oC for 15 min. Samples were analysed for FFA and PV according to standard AOAC methods. FTIR spectra were collected in wavenumber 400-4000 cm-1 by using 32 scans at resolution of 1.9 cm-1. The correlation between the conventional analytical results and those obtained by FTIR was performed using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) multivariate analysis with XLSTAT 2011 software from Microsoft Excel Series. The analytical results showed that the worse oil quality had higher FFA and PV. FTIR spectra observed in this study mentioned the main peaks of oil functional groups such as alkyl, ester, single and double bonds of carbon atoms. The absorbance values of the peaks exhibited a significant correlation, R2 = 0.955 at Pvalue 0.042 for FFA values, and R2 = 0.963 with Pvalue 0.030 for PV. This significant correlation gives an insight that FTIR spectroscopy can be used for a rapid analysis of palm oil quality.

OPTIMISATION OF VITAMIN E-ENRICHED PALM FAT, OAT AND XANTHAN GUM IN A GLUTEN-BASED NUGGET FORMULATION

The objective of this study was to optimise the incorporation of the vitamin E-enriched palm fat, oat and xanthan gum in gluten-based vegetarian nugget formulation. The effects of these ingredients on the texture, oil, and vitamin E content of the fried nugget formulations were analysed. The formulation was optimised using Response Surface Method (RSM). The vitamin E and oil content in fried nuggets were dependent on the amount of palm fat used in the formulation. Less xanthan gum, and more oat and palm fat resulted in higher oil content in the fried nuggets. Palm fat and xanthan gum significantly influenced the texture of the nuggets. The firmness increased as more oat was added. The optimum combination of these ingredients is 6.4% palm fat, 6.8% xanthan gum and 10% oat. These findings provide a basis in formulating gluten-based nuggets with vitamin E-enriched palm fat. Other plant proteins such as soyabased protein may be selected in future research.

SOLVENT-LESS APPROACH FOR THE RECOVERY OF PALM-BASED SOPHOROLIPIDS BIOSURFACTANT VIA SALTING-OUT METHOD

A suitable recovery process aimed at purifying the sophorolipids (SL) biosurfactant with eliminating of solvents was studied. Two routes of recovery strategies to extract the SL from the culture medium were investigated: (1) organic-solvent extraction, (2) non-solvent extraction via salting-out methods. The recovered SL produced by yeast culture Starmerella bombicola (ATCC 22214), supplemented with glucose and refined, bleached and deodorised (RBD) palm olein as the primary and secondary carbon sources, yielded in 53 g litre-1 and 99 g litre-1, respectively. The SL were produced as a mixture of lactonic and acidic forms, as qualitatively predicted by the appearance of seven spots on the thin layer chromatography plates. By high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis, salting-out via precipitation method successfully reduced acidic compounds and resulted in lactonic-rich SL in the final product in which the purity was approximately 75%. This was revealed by the identification of five major structures and diacetylated lactonic SL (688 g mol-1) as the dominant compound. In conclusion, saltingout is recommended as a potential downstream processing for recovery of palm-based SL.

MEASUREMENT OF HYDROXYL VALUE OF PALM-BASED POLYOL BY ATTENUATED TOTAL REFLECTANCE/FOURIER TRANSFORM INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY

A rapid method for the quantitative determination of the hydroxyl value (OHV) of palm-based polyols by Attenuated Total Reflectant-Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) with partial least square regression (PLS) was developed. Calibration standards were based on 25 palm-based polyols, synthesised in the Advanced Oleochemical Technology Division (AOTD), Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) covering OHV values ranging from 59 to 229 mg KOH g-1 of sample. The OHV values were also determined using AOCS Cd 13-60 standard method. The FTIR-generated calibration plot had a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.9925 and a standard error of calibration (SEC) of 5.58, while the validation plots had R2 of 0.9884 and standard error of prediction (SEP) of 5.35.

PALM OIL CRYSTALLISATION: A REVIEW — Review Article

Palm oil is one of the most traded oils in the world oils and fats market for food applications. This has led to many studies on aspects such as nutritional, food design and formulation, and its crystallisation behaviour. Palm oil crystallisation behaviour has important implications in the manufacture of food products such as margarines and shortenings where physical properties depend largely on the fat crystals. This article reviews the effects of chemical composition (fatty acid and mono-, di- and tri-acylglycerol composition), crystallisation conditions and the presence of additives on the crystallisation of palm oil. In addition, the crystallisation kinetics, thermal properties, polymorphism and recrystallisation of palm oil will also be discussed.