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Food Sci Technol Int. 2013 Feb;19(1):79-87. doi: 10.1177/1082013212442190.

Characterisation of a highly saturated Irvingia gabonensis seed kernel oil with unusual linolenic acid content.

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Laboratoire de Biotechnologies, Filière Biochimie-Microbiologie de l'Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Biosciences de l'Université de Cocody-Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.


The search for new sources of oil with improved characteristics has focused our attention on the characterisation of Irvingia gabonensis seed kernel oil. Physicochemical analysis have revealed the following assets: refractive index (1.42 ± 0.00), free fatty acids (2.3 ± 0.8%), peroxide value (3.33 ± 0.57 meq O(2)/kg), iodine value (32.43 ± 1.22 g I(2)/100 g), saponification value (233.75 ± 2.60 mg KOH/g), unsaponifiable matter (1.5 ± 0.02%), carotenoids (63 ± 0.01 mg β-carotene/100 g) and phospholipids (2.1 ± 0.01%). Absorbance of this oil decreased abruptly in the range of UV-B and UV-A wavelengths. Gas chromatography analysis showed that the major fatty acids were saturated, being mainly composed of lauric (C12:0, 39.35 ± 0.01%) and myristic acids (C14:0, 20.54 ± 0.01%). Nevertheless, an unusually high amount (6.44 ± 0.02%) of linolenic acid was also noted. Mass spectrometer analysis of volatile compounds highlighted the presence of various aromatic and aliphatic organic compounds. I. gabonensis seed kernel oil also showed oxidative stability at 60 °C after 12 days of storage with maximum peroxide value of 34.66 meq O(2)/kg. In view of these interesting characteristics, I. gabonensis seed kernel could be used as an alternative source of oil for lipid industries.

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