Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
Analysis and Classification of Common Vegetable Oils
The analysis of fatty acids from common vegetable oils was investigated for application to forensic casework. A base-catalyzed transesterification of the fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters using tetramethylammonium hydroxide was simple, rapid, straightforward and inexpensive. Canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean and sunflower oils were able to be classified based on their fatty acid methyl ester profiles. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, the detection limits for canola, corn, olive, peanut and safflower oils were determined to be 0.4 mg/mL or less and 0.2 mg/mL or less for soybean and sunflower oils.