Squalene (2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyl-2,6,10,14,18,22-tetracosahexaene), is a lipid found
in large quantities in shark liver oil and in smaller amounts (0.1 to 0.7 %) in olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil and yeast.
It is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol.
Having 6 double bonds, Squalene is very unstable versus oxidation and this is why it's often hydrogenated.
Once Hydrogenated, Squalane
, is a stable emollient for cosmetics.
Shark liver oil and squalene
There are more than 100s different deep-sea sharks. All of them have a liver oil rich in Squalene. Here are the main ones caught and their specificities:
Centrophorus Granulosus (Gulper Shark) liver oil is the Rolls Royce of the liver oils as it contains 80% Squalene. Centrophorus Granulosus is caught in warms
waters such as Indian Ocean, Mediterranean sea or Atlantic Ocean.
Centrophorus Squamosus (Leafscale Gulper shark) liver oil contains 65% Squalene. Northern Atlantic Ocean is the main area where it's located: Iceland, Faeroes Islands, UK but also
in Morocco and in Philippines.
Centroscymnus Coelolepis (Portugese Dogfish) liver oil contains 40% Squalene. This shark lives in Europe but also in America and in Australia.
Squalus Acanthias (Spiny Dogfish) liver oil only contains 16% Squalene. Squalus Acanthias lives in cold waters and this might explain the poor Squalene content.
In USA, it can be found on both coast, in Bering sea, on Murmansk coast but also in Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand.
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