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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Nov;49(11):5455-60.

Wild Amaranthus caudatus seed oil, a nutraceutical resource from Ecuadorian flora.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy.


Seed oil of wild Amaranthus caudatus from Ecuador was analyzed for determining the tocopherol, fatty acid, and sterol contents. The data obtained were compared with the analogous chemical profile of seed oil of Italian A. caudatus with the objective of evaluating the nutraceutical and alimentary potential of the Ecuadorian matrix. Supercritical fluid and ultrasound-enhanced extractions were performed on both matrices. Qualitative and quantitative determinations of tocopherols were performed by HPLC, whereas GC and GC-MS were used to determine the fatty acid composition and sterols, respectively. Supercritical fluid extraction at 400 atm was the most efficient extraction method in terms of both total yield extract and tocopherol yield. Seeds of Ecuadorian of A. caudatus contained higher levels of tocopherols than Italian samples, whereas the fatty acid composition and sterol content were similar. From the obtained results it can be suggested that seed oil of wild Ecuadorian A. caudatus can prove to be an effective nutraceutical and alimentary resource and a valid alternative to the European varieties.

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