VEGETABLE STEROLS IN CONIFERS AND OILSEEDS
Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are natural compounds that are present in plants mostly in conifers and oleaginous seeds. Chemically there are more than 25 types of sterols, while β-sitosterol (C29), campesterol (C28) and stigmasterol (C29) constitute 95%-98% of the phytosterols identifiable in plant extracts. In nature they can exist as free sterols, esterified with fatty acids or as glycosides.
It has been shown that the inclusion of plant sterols in a diet, such as β-sitosterol, manages to reduce serum cholesterol levels by altering the intestinal absorption of cholesterol, displacing it from the micelles of bile acids. In fact, when these compounds are included in a diet in sufficient amounts (2-3 g/day), they significantly reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood by reducing its adsorption from the digestive tract.
Typical sterols and stanols are insoluble in the micellar phase of the digestive tract and have only limited solubility in oils and/or fats or in water. Thus, free sterols or stanols are not themselves optimal candidates for use in typical pharmaceutical or dietary dosage forms as cholesterol-lowering agents. For this reason, in order to improve the solubility of these compounds, plant sterols should be in ester form.
OLEOFAT manufactures sterol ester from vegetable sterols from pine and rapeseed and vegetable fatty acids. This process generates a final product with a purity of 96-97%. OLEOFAT, through its own technology, has managed to design a totally new catalytic process whereby the raw material is hardly damaged and a high quality final product is generated.