Policosanol (PC) is a mixture of high molecular weight aliphatic primary alcohols. Currently, a number of dietary supplements containing PC are commercially available in the US market. The majority of these products are prepared from beeswax or sugar cane extracts. The main objective of this study was to compare the PC contents and compositions of beeswax, sugar cane and wheat as PC sources. The PC contents and compositions of several commercial dietary supplements were also analyzed. The precipitate formed during the cold storage of commercially hexane-extracted wheat germ oil (WGO) contained the highest total PC (628 mg/kg) among the wheat extracts and milling products examined in this study. The total PC contents of wheat straw (164 mg/kg) and sugar cane peel (270 mg/kg) were of the same order of magnitude. The total PC contents of brown beeswax were about 20 and 45 times higher than those of the WGO-solids and sugar cane peel, respectively. Commercial dietary supplements contained less total PC than were claimed on the product labels. The PC compositions of the samples analyzed in this study varied significantly with the source. Wheat can be a viable PC source for further product development or health benefits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Food Science