Waxes obtained from animals, plants and insects are a complex mixture of fatty materials (hydrocarbons, long-chain fatty acids, ketones, alcohols, and wax esters) with many uses in food and nonfood industries. In this JAOCS article of the month, Robert Moreau and colleagues at the Eastern Regional Research Center (ARS-USDA), in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, examine the isolation and characterization of wax fractions obtained from whole sorghum kernels using various solvents (hexane, ethanol and methanol) and extraction conditions. JAOCS Editor-in-Chief James Kenar says he selected the paper because it "appears to be the first research to analyze and quantify the effect of temperature and solvent on wax extractions of whole sorghum kernel which similar to the physical properties of carnauba wax." The article, "Extraction of Surface Wax from Whole Grain Sorghum," is available for free download.
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