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Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 814 - 817

Physicochemical Properties and Fatty Acid Composition of Citrullus lanatus (Egusi Melon) Seed Oil

O.M. Oluba, Y.R. Ogunlowo, G.C. Ojieh, K.E. Adebisi, G.O. Eidangbe and I.O. Isiosio    

Abstract: In this study, the physicochemical properties and fatty acid composition of Citrullus lanatus (egusi melon) were investigated. Oil from the seeds of Citrullus lanatus (egusi melon) was extracted with petroleum ether as solvent. The ether extract was evaluated for its specific gravity, refractive index, acid, iodine, peroxide and saponification values. The fatty acid profile analysis of the oil was also carried out by Gas Liquid Chromatography. The oil has a specific gravity of 0.93 and refractive index of 1.45 indicating that the oil is less thick compared to most drying oils with refractive indices between 1.48 and 1.49. Its acid, iodine, peroxide and saponification values were 3.5 ±0.3, 110 ±8.2, 8.3 ±4.6 and 192 ±43.7, respectively. These values are within recommended range for edible oils. The oil has four main fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids, linoleic acid being the most abundant. The fatty acid content of the oil showed that 71.9% is unsaturated. These results indicate that egusi melon oil could be a good source of table oil. Its high content of linoleic acid is of particular interest especially in the fight against atherosclerosis.

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