Identification of acylglycerols containing dihydroxy fatty acids in castor oil by mass spectrometry

Lipids. 2009 Apr;44(4):359-65. doi: 10.1007/s11745-008-3270-6. Epub 2008 Dec 2.


Ricinoleate, a monohydroxy fatty acid, in castor oil has many industrial uses. Dihydroxy fatty acids can also be used in industry. The C(18) HPLC fractions of castor oil were analyzed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of lithium adducts to identify the acylglycerols containing dihydroxy fatty acids and the dihydroxy fatty acids. Four diacylglycerols identified were diOH18:1-diOH18:1, diOH18:2-OH18:1, diOH18:1-OH18:1 and diOH18:0-OH18:1. Eight triacylglycerols identified were diOH18:1-diOH18:1-diOH18:1, diOH18:1-diOH18:1-diOH18:0, diOH18:2-diOH18:1-OH18:1, diOH18:1-diOH18:1-OH18:1, diOH18:1-diOH18:0-OH18:1, diOH18:2-OH18:1-OH18:1, diOH18:1-OH18:1-OH18:1 and diOH18:0-OH18:1-OH18:1. The locations of fatty acids on the glycerol backbone were not determined. The structures of these three newly identified dihydroxy fatty acids were proposed as 11,12-dihydroxy-9-octadecenoic acid, 11,12-dihydroxy-9,13-octadecadienoic acid and 11,12-dihydroxyoctadecanoic acid. These individual acylglycerols were at the levels of about 0.5% or less in castor oil and can be isolated from castor oil or overproduced in a transgenic oil seed plant for future industrial uses.

MeSH terms

  • Castor Oil / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Glycerides / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Glycerides
  • Castor Oil