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Efficient Preparation of (2R,4'R,8'R)-a-Tocopherol by Hydroxymethylation
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1  Vitamin Research and Technology Development F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd, CH-4070 Basel, Switzerland

Abstract: (2R,4'R,8'R)-a-Tocopherol (1), the compound with highest vitamin E activity and, therefore, the biologically most valuable tocopherol, plays an important role in feed, food, and pharma industry. Since an economical total synthesis is not feasible up to now, large-scale production by semi-synthesis starts from natural-source material.1 A mixture of a-, b-, g-, and d-tocopherol (1-4) can be obtained from soybean deodorizer distillates (originally a waste stream of soybean processing) by a combination of various physico-chemical purification steps.
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