African Journal of Biotechnology

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Variations in fatty acid composition during maturation of cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) seeds

Iness Bettaieb Rebey, Sarra Kefi, Ferid Limam, Brahim Marzouk


Changes in fatty acids were studied during maturation of cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) seeds cultivated in the North-Eastern region of Tunisia (Menzel Temim). The fruits matured in 49 Days after flowering (DAF). The first results show a rapid oil accumulation started in newly formed fruits (8.2%) and continued until their full maturity (16.9%). During fruit maturation, fatty acid profiles varied significantly among the three stages of maturity. Fruits development resulted mainly in an increase of petroselinic acid and a decrease of palmitic acid (C16:0). At full maturity, the main fatty acids were petroselinic acid (55.9%), followed by palmitic (23.82%), linoleic (12.40%) and pamitoleic (2.12%) acids. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids increased significantly; however, saturated fatty acids decreased during ripening of cumin seed. Results of this study indicate that the variation in the fatty acid composition of cumin seeds during maturation may be useful in understanding the source of nutritionally and industrially important fatty acids in this fruit. Cumin seed is potentially an important source of petroselinic acid which has numerous industrial applications.

Keywords: Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.), Apiaceae, seed, fatty acids composition, petroselinic acid, maturation.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(34), pp. 5303-5307
AJOL African Journals Online