The kinetics of enzymatic interesterification of oils and fats, using acetone dried cells of Rhizopus chinensis as a lipase catalyst, have been investigated in a batch operation. To clarify the mechanism of this reaction, several models are discussed under various conditions in terms of the ratio of triglyceride (TG)/fatty acid (FA) and of the water content. First, in the reaction between olive oil and methyl stearate, the parameters involved in each model were determined by the trial-and-error method so as to make the calculated results fit with the experimental data. Then, the models were compared with the experimental data obtained from the reactions with a mixture of stearic and palmitic acid methyl esters, where the proportions of (TG)/(FA) and water content were varied. From the results, the model based on either first order kinetics or on the formation of the glyceride-enzyme complex was confirmed to fit best with the data under a wide range of reaction conditions. This suggests that the fatty acid moiety of TG seems to be exchanged through the glyceride-enzyme complex in the enzymatic interesterification of oils and fats. ?? 1988.
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