Atractylodes rhizome is widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Although the chemical composition of the root has been studied in detail, the oil content and fatty acid composition of the seeds of Atractylodes species have not been reported. Fatty acyl composition of seeds from Atractylodes lancea and A. macrocephala was determined by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry of fatty acid methyl esters and 3-pyridylcarbinol esters. The predominant fatty acid in the seeds of both species was linolenic acid, but the unusual acetylenic fatty acid, crepenynic acid (cis-9-octadecen-12-ynoic acid), was also observed at levels of 18% in A. lancea and 13–15% in A. macrocephala. Fatty acid content was 24% for the samples of A. lancea and 16–17% for samples from A. macrocephala. sn-1,3 regioselective lipase digestion of seed lipids revealed that crepenynic acid was absent from the sn-2 position of the seed triacylglycerol. Crepenynic acid was also found in the seed oil of Jurinea mollis at 24% and was not present in the sn-2 position of the TAG. A contrasting distribution of crepenynic acid was found in the oil of Crepis rubra, suggesting differences in crepenynic acid synthesis or TAG assembly between these species.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society94, no. 5: 655–660.