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Australasian Section NewsletterAustralasian Section

December 2013

From the President

Hello everyone, it has been a long time since our last newsletter. However, we hope to make sure we can increase the number of newsletters in the future and continue to be a source for your local and international oil and fats news. This is the first real opportunity I have to publically thank Karen Murphy for her wonderful job as president for the last 5 odd years. Karen is a real mover and shaker behind the scenes and she has really contributed to the growth of this society. Thank you for all your hard work and good luck with bub number 3.

I want to start off in saying a big thank you to everyone who attended and helped out with the 2013 meeting in Newcastle. From all reports, the people that attended had a great time and there were some fantastic talks from all over our industry and science areas. Many of the presentations can be found at the 2013 AAOCS conference website. In addition, we have just published a summary of the conference and the abstracts in the journal Nutrients.

We would really appreciate any other feedback, ideas and thoughts on how we can make the 2015 event even better and more specific to your needs as a member. Please email me directly ( if you have any ideas/feedback. I would like to thank Kevin Krail and the Omega 3 Centre (O3C) for co-hosting the omega 3 symposium. We hope to continue our association with Kevin and O3C in future events. Finally, to all the committee, thanks for all your help in making this happen. 

We have a few new faces on the committee this year. Jacqui Adcock and Tim Nalder from Deakin University, Ashley Fulton from University of South Australia and Cintia Dias from University of Newcastle have joined the team. Jacqui has taken on the role of secretary and Tim has stepped up as our new Newsletter editor. Thanks to all these guys, good to have some fresh people on the committee and I hope you enjoy your time with us.

Memberships have increased in the last 12 months, so to all the new members, a big welcome. The committee is here to help facilitate conversations, spread news and nurture future scientists/leaders in the oil and fats world. We are here to help you, so feel free to get involved.

We presented the new AAOCS 2013 Section Award in Newcastle to Dr. Allan Green.  Allan has been at the forefront of plant breeding for the last few decades and the work from the CSIRO Plant Industries and Food Futures Flagship is recognised around the world. Allan gave a terrific keynote address that really set the tone for the conference. For the 2015 award we will be looking for nominations in due course. Please put your thinking caps on and watch this space to determine the 2015 award for scientific excellence in lipid research.  

Finally we are always looking for exciting news, photos, information, awards, publications, student achievements etc. in the oils and fats field. So please send any information to our Newsletter Editor Tim Nalder ( for future newsletters.  

Keep safe over the holiday period.

Matt Miller

President, Australasian Section

2015 AAOCS Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research

The AAOCS is offering an award for excellence in lipid science/research at the upcoming section meeting in 2015. The award will recognize a scientist from within the Australasian region that has made a significant contribution towards fats and oils research, either cumulative or one major advancement. Information about the award is below or more details please contact -

The Award

This award will be offered every 2 years in conjunction with the Section’s biannual conference.

The 2015 Award recipient will receive:

  • An award plaque
  • AU$1,500 towards expenses to attend the 2016 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo in the US
  • Complimentary registration for the November 2015 biannual AAOCS meeting where the award is presented. They will be expected to give a presentation at this meeting relating to the research and development which has merited them the award.

This program is currently closed and will open in February 2015.

Candidate materials must include:

  • Letter of nomination with summary of the nominee’s research accomplishments
  • Letters of support from at least 2 other scientists
  • Professional biographical data
  • A list of their publications
  • The degrees held, including the names of the granting institutions and the dates the degrees were granted
  • The positions held during their professional career

A person can nominate themselves for this award or be nominated by others.

Nomination Deadline: 17th May 2015

Have you got any oils news?

The AAOCS will be trying to put out another Newsletter mid 2014. Have you done anything noteworthy in oils and fats and want to communicate it to the section?Have you got any fats and oils business or product news?Have you published any findings/results/theses lately?Have you been to a conference or expo and seen anything interesting?

If so we would like to know about it.Anyone with any oil and fat news, publications and events information, could you please send tothe Newsletter editor ( as well as to Inform magazine ( 

Saturated fats may not be the ones to blame ….

Consumption of foods rich in saturated fat has been associated with elevated blood lipid levels and consequently with risk for chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease. However, epidemiological and interventional studies on this topic are contradictory. While some studies have established a positive link, other studies have failed to show a significant association between saturated fat consumption and blood lipid levels, and yet others have even found an inverse association. Professor Garg believes that lack of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) rather than saturated fat enriched diets are responsible for the elevated blood lipid levels. In a recent paper accepted for publication (1) in the journal ‘Medical Hypothesis,’ Professor Garg hypothesised that omega-3PUFA status is a predictor of the lipemic response to dietary saturated fats or omega-6PUFA rich vegetable oils. In fact saturated fats may enhance the cardiovascular health benefits provided the adequacy of omega-3PUFA status. Proving authenticity of this hypothesis would mean a substantial change in dietary guidelines and public health messages regarding saturated fats and their health effects; and also a change in the strategies related to prevention of chronic diseases.

  1. CB Dias, R Garg, LG Wood, ML Garg (2013) Saturated fat consumption may not be the main cause of elevated blood lipid levels, Medical Hypotheses,

Professor Manohar Garg can be contacted via e-mail:

Aurora Algae complete construction of cultivation site in Western Australia

A new algal cultivation test site has been constructed in Geraldton (WA). The project lead by Aurora Algae in collaboration with the Durack Institute of Technology. This new site aims to further investigate the potential of the mid-west region for the production of microalgal biomass. Previous work has been carried out at a pilot-scale facility in Karratha (WA) where they have demonstrated the production capabilities of up to 15 tonnes dried mass per month. With the favourable environmental conditions found in the mid-west of WA, industrial culture of microalgae seems set to expand in the future. Read more.

SeaDragons $2 million refinery under construction

SeaDragon has given the go ahead to its new refinery southwest of Nelson.  $2m in new capital was raised with the release of shares to Eligible Investors. SeaDragon Chairman Dr. Doug Wilson said: “The proceeds of the share placement combined with the $1.8 million raised from recent sales of SeaDragon’s shares in Snakk Media give us the resources to proceed with the construction of our new refinery near Richmond southwest of Port Nelson. Agreements to proceed will be executed in the next few days.”
Read more.

GrainCorp future uncertain

The $3 billion takeover bid by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for GrainCorp was blocked in shock decision by Joe Hockey. This signals the first rejection of a foreign takeover in Australia since 2011. Reactions to the outcome surrounding Australia’s largest agricultural company were mixed. Read more.

DHA Camelina achieved

In the November/December issue of  Inform (2013, 24: 648-652), the CSIRO/Nuseed/Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) collaboration has recently reported for the oilseed crop, Camelina sativa, high levels of DHA, with a high ω3:ω6 ratio and very low levels of potentially undesirable intermediate fatty acids.  The engineered Camelina seed oil profile contained levels of DHA similar to those found in commodity fish oils.  The team reported that fish oil-like levels of DHA have also been produced in the chosen application crop, canola.  This research was presented at the recent section meeting by Surinder Singh. 

Based on the recent progress in this collaboration, Nuseed intends to conduct field trials in Australia starting in 2014 subject to relevant regulatory approvals, with an anticipated commercial launch around 2018. Nuseed is currently engaging with potential downstream partners to develop the relationships and pipeline of activities that will see land-plant based long-chain 3 oil enter the market shortly after this.

LanzaTech Ranks 2nd hottest in Bioenergy companies

‘Biofuels Digest’ released their annual lists of the 50 hottest companies in Bioenergy and 30 hottest companies in Biobased chemicals. Lanzatech placed in both categories coming in at 2nd and 4th in the respective categories. LanzaTech is a world leader in gas fermentation; researching and producing low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases. Read more.

The future of food in NZ

In a recent article written by Professor Paul Moughan, Professor Harjinder Singh from Massey University’s Riddet Institute, challenges facing the future of food in New Zealand and the rest of the world were highlighted. They outline some of the major tasks to be addressed in the coming years with a growing population that is living longer. Topics included the further development of functional foods, biofortification and the move to novel protein sources. Read more.

Return of Rickets

Rickets, the childhood disease that once caused an epidemic of bowed legs and curved spines during the Victorian era, is making a comeback in Britain. Rickets is caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Last month, Britain's chief medical officer, Dr. Sally Davies, described the return of rickets as "appalling." She proposed the country give free vitamins to all under-fives and asked the country's independent health watchdog to study if that would be worthwhile. Most people get vitamin D from the sun, oily fish, eggs or dairy products. Read more.

Lipid oxidation

A new book from AOCS entitled “Lipid Oxidation: Challenges in Food Systems” has been released. The book was edited in part by one of our very own, Amy Logan. Amy Logan

“Lipid oxidation in food systems is one of the most important factors which affect food quality, nutrition, safety, color and consumers’ acceptance. The control of lipid oxidation remains an ongoing challenge as most foods constitute very complex matrices. Lipids are mostly incorporated as emulsions, and chemical reactions occur at various interfaces throughout the food matrix. Recently, incorporation of healthy lipids into food systems to deliver the desired nutrients is becoming more popular in the food industry. Many food ingredients contain a vast array of components, many of them unknown or constituting diverse or undefined molecular structures making the need in the food industry to develop effective approaches to mitigate lipid oxidation in food systems. This book provides recent perspectives aimed at a better understanding of lipid oxidation mechanisms and strategies to improve the oxidative stability of food systems.”

Editors: Amy Logan, Uwe Nienaber, and Xiangqing (Shawn) Pan  

Get your copy!

Krill News

Aker BioMarine takes up leadership at the Omega 3 Centre
Lalen Dogan, Managing Director, Aker BioMarine Antarctic Australasia Pty, was recently elected Deputy Chairman of The Omega-3 Centre, an Australasian authority on long-chain (LC) omega-3s and nutritional health. The committee is made up of Australia’s leading omega-3 researchers and is predominately supported by the omega-3 industry. As Deputy Chairman, Dogan will dedicate his time to communicating the health benefits of LC omega-3s and helping to improve community health status. Read more.

Aker BioMarine leads education on Krill oil
Consumer awareness of omega-3s in the U.S. is over 90% and still growing. In fact, krill is the most rapidly growing omega-3 segment today. As more and better sources of these fatty acids are needed to meet this demand, omega-3 education is crucial in helping retailers properly stock store shelves. To that end, Aker BioMarine, an integrated biotechnology company dedicated to the sustainable harvest of krill and development of krill-derived biotech products, is launching a one-of-a-kind pilot program titled “How to Speak Krill.” The program will give retailers the proper tools to help their customers make better decisions when choosing an omega-3 option. Read more. 

Links between Krill and Metabolic syndrome found

Researchers from Aker BioMarine have published a new pilot study on krill powder in Lipids in Health and Disease. The study, performed at Momentum Pharma Services GmbH, a CRO in Germany, and two academic research sites in Italy, investigated the effects of Superba™ Krill powder supplementation in obese subjects. Read more.

Reference Berge, K. et al., “Chronic treatment with krill powder reduces plasma triglyceride and anandamide levels in mildly obese men” Lipids in Health and Disease. 2013,12:78

Upcoming Events

Welcome to ISFNF 2014
Australia is proud to be hosting the 16th International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding (ISFNF), the premier international forum for researchers, academics and industry concerned with the nutrition and feeding of aquatic animals. This biennial event will see several hundred attendees from around the world converge on the city of Cairns, adjacent to Australia’s magnificent Great Barrier Reef and the fabulous Daintree Rainforest, in Australia’s far northern tropics, for five days from May 26th to 30th 2014.

Contributions are now being sought on key themes to progress the development of science and innovation that stimulate this central part of the world’s aquaculture industries. With half of the world’s consumption of seafood now coming from aquaculture, feeds are playing an increasingly important role in meeting the challenge of global food security. Science and innovation are critical to the success of this, and your contributions play an important part to the global cooperation in meeting this challenge of global food security.

An event not to be missed by researchers, academics and industry – ISFNF 2014 will offer a chance to discuss and debate the issues, ideas and innovations that face us in the domain of fish nutrition and feeding.

As with most ISFNF events there will be plenty of opportunity to network, socialise and collaborate during both the formal and informal events. So important do we consider this element of symposiums that we are planning a ‘gap day’ in the middle to help everyone network and visit this amazing part of the world.

  • 16th International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding (ISFNF XVI), 25-30th  May, Cairns, Australia
  • 105th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 4-7, 2014, San Antonio, Texas, USA
  • World Conference on Fabric and Home Care, October 6-9, 2014, Montreux, Switzerland
  • 106th AOCS Annual Meeting and Industry Showcase, May 3-6, 2015, Orlando, Florida, USA
  • The next biennial AAOCS meeting (location unknown) early November 2015

New Papers

Kaspar, H. F., Keys, E. F., King, N., Smith, K. F., Kesarcodi-Watson, A., Miller, M. R. (2014) Continuous production of Chaetoceros calcitrans in a system suitable for commercial hatcheries. Aquaculture 420–421(0): 1-9.

Fard, S. G., Linderborg, K. M., Turchini, G. M., Sinclair, A. J. (2013) Comparison of the bioavailability of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5n-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3) in the rat. Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essent. Fatty Acids

Nalder, T. D., Marshall, S., Pfeffer, F. M., Barrow, C. J. (2013) Characterisation of lipase fatty acid selectivity using novel omega-3 pNP-acyl esters. Journal of Functional Foods

Dorantes-Aranda, J. J., Nichols , P. D., Waite, T. D. and Hallegraef, G. (2013) Strain variability in fatty acid composition of Chattonella marina (Raphidophyceae) and its relation to differing ichthyotoxicity towards rainbow trout gill cells. J. Phycology 49: 427-438.

Alhazzaa, R., Bridle, A., Carter, C. and Nichols, P. D. (2013) Coping with sub-optimal temperature: modifications in fatty acid profile of barramundi as influenced by dietary lipid. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A. 165: 243-253. 

Codabaccus, M. B., Ng, W-K., Nichols, P. D., Carter, C. G. (2013) Restoration of EPA and DHA in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using a finishing fish oil diet at two different water temperatures. Food Chemistry 141: 236-244.

Alhazzaa, R., Bridle, A. R., Mori, T. A., Barden,A. E., Nichols, P. D., and Carter, C. G. (2013) Echium oil is better than rapeseed oil in improving the response of barramundi to a disease challenge. Food Chemistry 141: 1424-1432. 

Chang, K. J. L, Dumsday, G., Nichols, P. D., Dunstan, G. A., Blackburn, S. I. and Koutoulis, A. (2013) High cell density cultivation of a novel Aurantiochytrium sp. strain TC 20 in a fed-batch system using glycerol to produce feedstock for biodiesel and omega-3 oils. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 97 (15): 6907-6918

Couturier, L. I. E., Rohner, C. A., Richardson, A. J., Pierce, S. J., Marshall, A. D., Jaine, F. R. A., Townsend, K. A., Bennett, M. B., Weeks S. J. and Nichols. P. D. (2013) Unusually high levels of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in whale sharks and manta rays and food-web implications. Lipids. 48: 1029–1034

Chang, K. J. L., Nichols, P. D. and Blackburn, S. I. (2013) More than biofuels – Potential uses of microalgae as sources of high-value lipids. Lipid Technology. 25: 199-203

Pethybridge, H., Nichols, P. D., Virtue, P. and Jackson, G. (2013) The foraging ecology of an oceanic squid, Todarodes filippovae: The use of signature lipid profiling to monitor ecosystem change.  Deep-sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. 

Petrie, J. R., Nichols, P. D., Devine, M. and Singh, S. P. (2013) Engineered oil seed crops with fish oil DHA levels. INFORM 24: 648-652.

Couturier, L. I. E., Rohner, C. A., Richardson, A. J., Marshall, A. D., Jaine, F. R. A., Bennett, M. B., Townsend, K. A., Weeks, S. J. and Nichols, P. D.  (2013) Stable isotope and signature fatty acid analyses suggest reef manta rays feed on demersal zooplankton PLoS ONE 8(10): e77152. 

Vanhercke, T., El Tahchy, A., Liu, Q., Zhou, X-R., Pushkar, S. Divi, U., Mansour, M., Ral, J-P., Nichols, Peter., James, C., Horn, P., Chapman, K., Beaudoin, F., Ruiz-López, N., Larkin, P., deFeyter, R., Singh, S. and Petrie, J. (2013) Metabolic engineering of biomass for high energy density: oilseed-like triacylglycerol yields from plant leaves. Plant Biotech. J. 

Rohner, C. A., Couturier, L. I. E., Richardson, A. J., Pierce, S. J., Prebble, C., Gibbons, M. J. and Nichols, P. D.  (2013) Diet of whale sharks Rhincodon typus inferred from stomach content and signature fatty acid analyses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 493:219-235.