Based in the dynamic city of Lyon – France’s third metropolis – Extrasynthese is a well-established company specializing in reference materials, substances and standards. These substances are used as a kind of yardstick against which certain comparisons can be made. This is useful in many fields, including the calibration of instruments, new product quality control and the testing of new drugs and dietary supplements, to name just a few.
Analyzing and authenticating vegetable oils – a crucial task
One of Extrasynthese’s key product ranges is the tocopherol standard, of which there are four. Tocopherols are best understood as being members of the vitamin E family. They are found in vegetable oils, and as a result, Tocopherol standards can be used very effectively to analyse different oils by measuring exactly the concentrations of vitamin E in oil samples. In turn, this makes it easier to authenticate the origin of the oils being tested – an important commercial and consumer consideration. For instance, this technique can be used to detect if extra virgin olive oil has been adulterated with a different oil, such as sunflower oil. Tocopherols are found in some of the most widely-used oils, including olive, peanut, grapeseed, walnut and sunflower oils.
Tocotrienols – a neglected field of research?
Tocotrienols are another part of the Vitamin E family. As with the Tocopherols, there are four distinct Tocotrienols, all of which are produced in very pure form by Extrasynthese. There is a different Tocotrienol standard for each family member – namely alpha, beta, delta and gamma Tocotrienols. These standards are manufactured for the same purpose – for use in titration (which enables the concentrations of certain substances in a solution to be measured) and in the analysis of the origin of vegetable oils. Tocotrienols are present in certain, generally less common oils such as palm oil, saw palmetto and annatto, which may account for the fact that most vitamin E-related research focuses on Tocopherols.