The estimation of the chemical composition and physical properties of the seed oils of Trichosanthes cucumerina and Ricinodendron heudelotii using standard methods of analysis showed that the seed of T. cucumerina and R. heudelotii have high oil content (46.3±4% and 42.5±5% respectively). Assessment of the physical constants revealed that Ricinodendron heudelotii had a low heat of combustion (12.9 ± 3kcal/g) when compared to that of Trichosanthes cucumerina (32.8 ± 4kcal/g). The refractive indices at 400C, boiling point, smoke point and flash points were high in the two oils. Their relative densities were high and their melting points were low. From the chemical parameters, the high ester value and saponification values of T. cucumerina and R. heudelotii qualifies them to be used in industries for soap making, while the high iodine value for R. heudelotii (158.8 ± 8gI/100g oil) qualifies it as a drying oil and suggest possible usefulness in the paint industry. Their percentage free fatty acid and acid values were low suggesting increased stability and usefulness in nutritional and industrial applications.
Key Words: seed oil, chemical composition, Trichosanthes cucumerina, Ricinodendron heudelotii.
(Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences: 2003 9(2): 217-220)