African Journal of Biotechnology

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Physicochemical characterisation of hexanic seed oil extract from the pepper tree (Schinus molle) of South African origin

Trevor T Nyakudya, Oscar Mahoa, Amidou Samie, Eliton Chivandi, Kennedy H Erlwanger, Mazuru B Gundidza, Michael L Magwa, Perkin Muredzi


The physicochemical characterisation of oil extracts from Schinus molle seeds collected in South Africa was performed. The oils were extracted in hexane, physicochemical parameters determined and lipids profiled by gas chromatography, in order to determine its potential for use in industry, ethnomedicine and its nutritional value. The total oil yield of the seed dry mass was 22%. The oil was semi-liquid at room temperature and consisted of 24 fatty acids of which 15.56, 16.75, and 31.02% were saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, respectively. Palmitic acid (8.31%), oleic acid (15.3%) and linoleic acid (26.99%) were the main fatty acids in S. molle seed oil, which had a high acid value (178.23 ± 36.8 mg KOH/g), iodine value (17.74 g I2/100 g oil) and saponification value (129.88 mg KOH/g). It was concluded that oil from S. molle seeds could be used as a source of palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid which would be utilised as industrial ingredients in the manufacture of soaps, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and nutritional supplements.

Keywords: Schinus molle, hexane oil extraction, fatty acids, ethnomedicine

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(8), pp. 854-859

AJOL African Journals Online