Did you know – Measuring Fat
Did you know that fat was discovered when the scientist Michel Eugène Chevreul (see picture above) was researching soap and composition of lipids in France in the beginning of the 19th century? He found that pig fat, which was used in soap, had certain portions dissolved in water while others became small and pearly crystals – the first discovery of lipids. Fat belongs to a lipid group called fatty acids and is one of our three major nutrients.
During the 19th century, many scientists have tried to find reliable methods to measure and determine fat. Franz Ritter von Soxhlet was one of them. He invented the Soxhlet extractor and the Soxhlet method. In the Soxhlet procedure, oil and fat from solid material are extracted by repeated washing with an organic solvent under reflux in special glassware. The Soxhlet procedure became a reference method for food laboratories in the end of the 19th century.
After Soxhlet, many other scientists have improved the extractor with the use of pressure, automation and hot solvents. Most instruments today use hot solvents for extraction, a method that has proven to give more accurate and faster results.
OPSIS LiquidLINE is a Swedish company that provides solutions for laboratories to determine fat accurately, using hot solvent extraction. Our instruments follow the established reference methods and we also improve our instruments with new inventions.