Phytosterols

Sterols constitute a major portion of unsaponifiable matter in oilseeds. These are composed of free sterols, sterol esters of fatty acids, and possibly sterol glucosides and acylated sterol glucosides (Shahidi and Shukla, 1996). Plant sterols are classified into three distinct groups belonging to the cholestane series, i.e., the phytosterol known as 4-desmethylsterols, 4-a-methylcholestane series known as 4-monomethylsterols, and lanostane series, that is triterpene alcohols known as 4,4'-dimethylsterols. Sterols are known to have antipolymerizing effect during frying (Sims et al., 1972; Yan and White, 1990).

The phytosterols are 28- and 29-carbon compounds including brassicasterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, 6-sitosterol, fucosterol, 5-avenasterol, and a-spinasterol.

TABLE 10.2

Distribution of various phytochemicals and/or their breakdown products in selected oilseeds

t5 S

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Mustard Soybean

Flax Sesame Borage

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