Food Analysis

Determination of Water in Sunflower Oil by Karl Fischer Titration

MerckBlog_Issue10_Article4_FoodSunflower oil is the most used cooking oil worldwide. It finds its use in food, as a frying oil, or in cosmetic products as a natural emollient. Additionally, it is used in the production of biodiesel and in some pharmaceutical and technical applications. Every year sunflower seeds produce more than 16 million tons of oil. Sunflower oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, monounsaturated acids such as oleic acid, saturated fatty acids, and a high amount of vitamin E antioxidant.

The water content in sunflower oil influences the quality and shelf life of the oil and can chemically react with the oil’s components, e.g. it can break up the ester bonds and form free fatty acids. The amount of water in sunflower oil is typically 0.2 % or less, therefore the coulometric method is recommended and described in different norms e.g. DIN EN ISO 8534 - Animal and vegetable fats and oils -- Determination of water content -- Karl Fischer method (pyridine free).

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