Monounsaturated fatty acid ether oligomers formed during heating of virgin olive oil show agglutination activity against human red blood cells
Patrikios, Ioannis S.
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The present work focuses on the characterization of molecules formed when virgin olive oil is heated at 130 C for 24 h open in air, which are found to be strong agglutinins. The hemagglutinating activity of the newly formed molecule isolated from the heated virgin olive oil sample was estimated against human red blood cells (RBCs). Dimers and polymers (high molecular weight molecules) were identified through thin layer chromatography (TLC) of the oil mixture. 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) were the methods used for structural characterization. Among others, oligomerization of at least two monounsaturated fatty acids (FA) by an ether linkage between the hydrocarbon chains is involved. Light microscopy was used to characterize and visualize the agglutination process. Agglutination without fusion or lysis was observed. It was concluded that the heating of virgin olive oil open in air, among other effects, produces oligomerization as well as polymerization of unsaturated FA, possibly of monohydroxy, monounsaturated FA that is associated with strong hemagglutinating activity against human RBCs. The nutritional value and the effects on human health of such oligomers are not discussed in the literature and remain to be investigated.