Partition of selected food preservatives in fish oil-water systems

Hongyuan Cheng, Alan Friis, Torben Leth

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The partition coefficients (Kow) of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in systems of fish oil (sand eel)–water, fish oil–buffer solution, rape oil–water and olive oil–water were experimentally determined in a temperature range from 5 to 43 °C and pH from 4.5 to 6.5 °C. The dimerization of benzoic acid in fish oil–water system was observed at 25 °C. Two modifications have been made to the Nordic Food Analysis Standard for the determination of sorbic acid by HPLC. The experimental results show that the Kow of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in fish oil–buffer system is ca. 100 times lower than that in fish oil–water system. The Kow values of benzoic acid and sorbic acid in fish oil and water system decrease with increasing system pH values. The partition coefficients of plant origin and fish origin oils are in the same order of magnitude even though their molecular structures are very different.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)60-64
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Benzoic acid
  • Sorbic acid
  • Food preservative
  • Partition coefficient
  • Fish oil

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