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At the occasion of the appearance of the book Conjugated Linoleic Acids and Conjugated Vegetable Oils, edited by experts in heterogeneous catalysis, a few words clarifying and justifying the initiative might be of interest to the reader.

At the beginning of the second millennium, at the Center of Surface Science and Catalysis, KU Leuven, a project was started on shape selective transformations of vegetable oils with (heterogeneous) zeolite-based catalysts. Stimulated initially by Albert J. Dijkstra,1  the concept of essentially trans-free partial hydrogenation of fatty acid esters and edible vegetable oils with shape selective zeolites was developed. The editors of the present book on Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs) were the driving force behind this research. Major scientific hurdles had to be overcome in order to achieve the prestigious goal. It took almost a decade developing an appropriate catalyst, namely a ZSM-5 zeolite with the Pt metal load fully incorporated in the zeolite crystalline lattice.2  So, the intuition of A.J.D. was proven to be correct. Thank you Albert! This regioselective hardening of soy bean oil yielded nutritive almost trans-free shortenings with unprecedented physical properties.3 

Meanwhile, Bert Sels accepted an academic chair at KU Leuven on ‘Catalytic Conversion of Biomass and Bio-platform Molecules’, while An Philippaerts made a major effort in accumulating postdoctoral expertise in the same area. Equipped with that catalyst design knowledge, it took only a minor leap to achieve hydrogen-free production of conjugated linoleic acids and esters using Ru totally encapsulated in the zeolite intracrystalline voids.4  This was just another recent ‘discovery’ in the area of shape selective catalytic transformations of vegetable oils. Although it was realized at the initial discussion phase of this book project that the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) has been publishing overviews dealing with different aspects of CLAs on a regular basis, the last update being made in 2006,5  it was decided that there was need for a textbook covering the topic from many different angles. Therefore, with the contribution of the experts at the basis of science and technology development in the area, the editors succeeded in less than 12 months in producing a textbook on all aspects of CLA science and technology. In my opinion, it will appeal not only to industrialists and researchers in this interdisciplinary field but also will attract the attention of the general public.

Pierre A. Jacobs

Prof. Em. Mand. KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

1

Horace: I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze.

1.
Dijkstra
 
A.J.
Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol.
2006
, vol. 
108
 pg. 
249
 
2.
Philippaerts
 
A.
Paulussen
 
S.
Breesch
 
A.
Turner
 
S.
Lebedev
 
O.I.
Van Tendeloo
 
G.
Sels
 
B.
Jacobs
 
P.A.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
2011
, vol. 
50
 pg. 
3947
 
3.
Philippaerts
 
A
Breesch
 
A.
Annika
 
G.
De Cremer
 
P.-J.
Kayaert
 
J.
Hofkens
 
G.
De Mooter
 
P.
Jacobs
 , 
Sels
 
B.
J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc.
2011
, vol. 
88
 pg. 
2023
 
4.
Philippaerts
 
A.
Goossens
 
S.
Vermandel
 
W.
Tromp
 
M.
Turner
 
S.
Geboers
 
J.
Van Tendeloo
 
G.
Jacobs
 
P. A.
Sels
 
B. F.
ChemSusChem
2011
, vol. 
4
 pg. 
757
 
5.
Advances in Cojugated Linoleic Acid Research
, ed. M. P. Yurawecz, J. K. G. Kramer, O. Gudmundson, M. W. Pariza and S. Banni,
AOCS Press
,
Chamapign, Ill
.,
2006
, vol. 3
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