Dissertation defence (Food Development): DI Mikael Fabritius

DI Mikael Fabritius defends his dissertation in Food Development entitled “Mass spectrometric methodologies for analysis of triacylglycerol and phospholipid regioisomers in natural fats and oils” at the University of Turku on 14 June 2023 at 12.00 pm (University of Turku, Calonia, Pharmacity, Auditorium Pha1, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4, Turku).

Opponent: Professor Michal Holcapek (University of Pardubice, Czechia)
Custos: Professor Baoru Yang (University of Turku)


Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation:

Novel technologies for resolving the molecular structures of fats and oils.

Dietary fats and oils are important nutritional components with a multitude of related health implications, both beneficial and harmful. While most of the health-related discussion revolves around fatty acids, the fatty acid composition alone does not paint the whole picture. The vast majority (typically over 97%) of dietary fatty acids are found in triacylglycerol (TG) molecules, three fatty acids are attached to a glycerol molecule. The position of these fatty acids on the glycerol backbone can significantly influence their nutritional properties, a factor particularly important for example in infant nutrition.

Given that dozens of different fatty acids can exist in various positions, this creates an analytical challenge due to the potential presence of hundreds of different molecules in a natural fat sample. Precise analysis of the molecular structure is crucial for understanding the nutritional and biological significance of different types of fats. Fats also contain phospholipids (PL) and other minor lipid classes with significant biological functions. However, the importance of individual molecules in these classes has also largely been overlooked.

In this doctoral thesis, new analytical methodologies employing mass spectrometry to study the structures of fat molecules were developed. Calculation models and automated software are integral to the analysis process, helping to decipher the extremely complex raw data and enabling accurate and reproducible results. These new techniques lay a robust foundation for future advancements in the field of lipidomics, which is rapidly increasing technique in research in the field of food, health and diseases. These novel and powerful solutions not only open up opportunities for more detailed structural analysis in this rapidly expanding research area, but also providing new tools for developing new products and services in food, nutraceutical and healthcare sectors.
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