Effects of plant oil interesterified triacylglycerols on lipemia and human health

Andreina Alfieri, Esther Imperlini, Ersilia Nigro, Daniela Vitucci, Stefania Orrù, Aurora Daniele, Pasqualina Buono, Annamaria Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The position of the fatty acids (sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3) (stereospecific numbering (sn)) in triacylglycerol (TAG) molecules produces a characteristic stereospecificity that defines the physical properties of the fats and influences their absorption, metabolism and uptake into tissues. Fat interesterification is a process that implies a positional distribution of fatty acids (FAs) within the TAG molecules, generating new TAG species, without affecting the FA cis-trans natural balance. The interesterified (IE) fats, frequently used in the food industry comprise fats that are rich in long-chain saturated FAs, such as palmitic acid (16:0) and stearic acid (18:0). Within the interesterified fats, a critical role is played by FA occupying the sn-2 position; in fact, the presence of an unsaturated FA in this specific position influences early metabolic processing and postprandial clearance that in turn could induce atherogenesis and thrombogenesis events. Here, we provide an overview on the role of TAG structures and interesterified palmitic and stearic acid-rich fats on fasting and postprandial lipemia, focusing our attention on their physical properties and their effects on human health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 2017


  • Fatty acids (FAs)
  • Human health
  • Interesterified fats
  • Lipemia
  • Stereospecificity
  • TAG structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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