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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 28;52(2):274-9.

Fatty acid and carotenoid composition of gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) fruit.

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Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, California 94710, USA.


In this study, we analyzed fatty acid and carotenoid composition of fruit tissues, including seed (which are surrounded by a bright red, oily aril) of Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng, known as gac in Vietnam. Carotenoid content was analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC, using a C(30) column and a method separating cis- and trans-isomers of the major carotenoids in this fruit. Mean values obtained in aril tissues were 1342 microg trans-, 204 microg cis-, and 2227 microg total lycopene; 597 microg trans-, 39 microg cis-, and 718 microg total beta-carotene; and 107 microg alpha-carotene/g FW. Mesocarp contained 11 microg trans-, 5 microg cis-beta-carotene/g FW, trace amounts of alpha-carotene, and no lycopene. Gac aril contained 22% fatty acids by weight, composed of 32% oleic, 29% palmitic, and 28% linoleic acids. Seeds contained primarily stearic acid (60.5%), smaller amounts of linoleic (20%), oleic (9%), and palmitic (5-6%) acids, and trace amounts of arachidic, cis-vaccenic, linolenic, and palmitoleic, eicosa-11-enoic acids, and eicosa-13-enoic (in one fruit only) acids.

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