• Tocopherols
    And Analysis


Tocopherols are a class of chemical substances known collectively as vitamin E. They are fat-soluble antioxidants that have the ability to neutralize harmful free radicals in fat-soluble environments in the body.

Tocopherols are found in a variety of foods. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are the richest sources, while significant amounts are also found in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.

There are four different types of tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. Each has a slightly different chemical structure and function.

Alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form and is the form most commonly found in supplements and in the European diet.

In the US, gamma-tocopherol is the most common form in the diet due to a higher intake of soybean and corn oil.

Beta-tocopherol is not as common or as biologically active as alpha-tocopherol, but it is still an important part of the vitamin E complex. Foods rich in beta-tocopherol include certain nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, and some types of leafy green vegetables.

Delta-tocopherol is the least active tocopherol when it comes to vitamin activity in the human body. It is usually in smaller amounts than alpha and gamma-tocopherols. The highest natural concentrations of delta-tocopherol can typically be found in certain vegetable oils, like soybean oil and corn oil. Delta-tocopherol can also been found in some leafy green vegetables.

From a health perspective, tocopherols are crucial for normal neurological function and fertility, as well as acting as an antioxidant. They are also involved in immune function, DNA repair, and other metabolic processes. Deficiency of Vitamin E (tocopherols) can lead to neurological problems due to poor nerve conduction, muscle weakness, and retinopathy.

It's important to note that excessive consumption of alpha-tocopherol can potentially interfere with the absorption and function of other forms of vitamin E, so it is usually recommended to get vitamin E from a balanced diet rather than supplements.

Tocopherols in Different Types of Biomass

Herbal Leaf Extracts

Examples of some tocopherols found in herbal leaf extracts are listed below:
  • Tea Leaves - Green tea and black tea leaves contain alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol.
  • Herbs and Spices - Certain herbs and spices, like oregano and paprika, are also rich in tocopherols. They contain mainly gamma-tocopherol, although alpha-tocopherol can be present as well.
  • Green Leafy Vegetables - These are known to contain alpha-tocopherol, the most biologically active form of Vitamin E. Spinach and kale, for example, are two leafy greens that are a good source of this tocopherol.
  • Cannabis Leaves - Some research has found that cannabis leaves contain alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol.

Get more info...Herbal Leaf Extracts

Fruit and Vegetables

Examples of some tocopherols found in fruit and vegetables are listed below:
  • Alpha-tocopherol - The most active form of vitamin E in the human body, it is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables but is especially rich in wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.
  • Beta-tocopherol - Less prevalent in our diet compared to alpha-tocopherol. It is found in some oils, such as corn and soybean.
  • Gamma-tocopherol - The most common form of vitamin E in the American diet, largely due to its presence in soybean, corn, and canola oil, which are common in the typical Western diet.
  • Delta-tocopherol - Present in certain oils.

Get more info...Fruit & Veg

Extraction of Tocopherols from Biomass

The extraction process, including the solvents and methods used, can influence the concentration and types of tocopherols present in the final extract. It is often the case that a balance needs to be found between fully-extracting all tocopherols while also ensuring that the compounds that are obtained are of a high quality and not degraded.

At Celignis we have extensive experience in the design and optimisation of extraction protocols for a wide variety of chemical constituents from many different biomass types. If needed we can also work on processes to separate and purify the target compounds.

Click here to read more about Celignis's Bioprocess Development Services for the extraction of chemicals from biomass.

Get more info...Biomass Extractions

Analysis of Tocopherols at Celignis

We have the necessary equipment and expertise to determine the amount and distribution of tocopherols in a wide variety of biomass samples.

Feel free to get in touch with us to request further information and a quotation.

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