Dichloromethane as a solvent for lipid extraction and assessment of lipid classes and fatty acids from samples of different natures

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jun 25;56(12):4297-303. doi: 10.1021/jf073471e. Epub 2008 May 28.


The usefulness of the solvent mixture dichloromethane/methanol for lipid extraction and the determination of lipid classes and fatty acids in samples of different natures was conducted. Two different extraction methods were compared, one containing chloroform/methanol, another containing dichloromethane/methanol. Total lipid extraction showed some minor differences but no variation in the lipid classes. Regarding the fatty acid profile, in Echium virescens seeds, 17 major fatty acids could be identified and quantified, and all were equally extracted when either solvent system was employed. In Echium acanthocarpum hairy roots, 17 major fatty acids were quantified, showing some statistical differences for one cell line in favor of chloroform. The data obtained from the liquid nutrient medium were also comparable. The cod roe sample showed 31 major fatty acids, showing no statistical differences between the two solvent systems. Contrarily, the CH 2Cl 2 method was able to extract 31 main fatty acids found in European seabass dorsal muscle more efficiently than the CHCl 3 method. The results indicate that, for lipid extraction and fatty acid assessment, dichloromethane/methanol can readily replace the commonly employed chloroform/methanol, thus avoiding the major health, security, and regulatory problems associated with the use of chloroform.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bass
  • Chloroform
  • Echium / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Gadus morhua
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Lipids / isolation & purification*
  • Methanol
  • Methylene Chloride*
  • Muscles / chemistry
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Solvents*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids
  • Solvents
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Chloroform
  • Methanol