Seed Lipids

I. A. Wolff
1966 Science  
The advent of a variety of new and elegant experimental techniques has resulted in exponential proliferation of data on the structures of many natural products. Before describing how research on seed lipids has joined this chemical mainstream, I shall review their present major sources and importance. The uses of seeds far transcend their natural purpose of species perpetuation (1). A large part of the world's food and feed supply consists of seed crops. About a quarter of the calories in our
more » ... e calories in our diet and almost a third of the total feed nutrients for livestock are supplied by cereal grains, which represent 90 percent of all seeds cultivated. Generally grains are rich in carbohydrates but poor in lipids (2). In this country, despite the relatively low percentage of lipid present, the large volume of corn processed for starch makes sizable quantities of corn oil available for marketing. Legume seeds are usually rich in protein; many also contain either starch or galactomannan polysaccharides as a principal energy-reserve substance. Even though on the average legume seeds are, like cereal grains, low in oil content (3), two of the bestknown and most widely used oilseeds, soybeans and peanuts, are legumes. These two legumes supply about a fourth of the world's edible oils and fats. Soybean oil also goes into many nonfood uses, and the beans themselves are man's most important leguminous food. In commerce, seed lipids, primarily triglycerides at various stages of purification or refinement, are termed vegetable oils. Other major plant raw materials besides soybeans and peanuts
doi:10.1126/science.154.3753.1140 pmid:17780030 fatcat:t3zhu2xukfdlnhbjcgjvujsgxy