Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of isoprenoid hydrocarbons and fatty acids in shark liver oil products

Research paper by E. Gelpi, J. Oro’

Indexed on: 01 Mar '68Published on: 01 Mar '68Published in: Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society


The liver oil from the South American Basking shark has been fractionated by silica gel chromatography and analyzed by the new method of combined gas-chromatography mass spectrometry. The major compounds of the nonsaponifiable fraction are pristane and squalene, which account for 7.6 and 31.3% of the oil. The saponifiable fraction contains normal fatty acids from C14 to C22; the four major components are palmitic, oleic, and the monounsaturated eicosenoic and docosenoic acids. No correlation was observed between the hydrocarbons (essentially all isoprenoid derivatives) and the fatty acids (essentially all normal) of this oil.The same treatment was applied to a sample of commercial pristane which was obtained from Basking shark liver oil. It was found to contain about 1% phytane and small amounts of octadecane, nonadecane, and methyl and ethyl palmitates. Mass spectral data for squalene are presented for the first time along with the low electron energy-mass spectra for pristane and phytane.