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Extraction and characterization of essential oils of seeds of maize, <i>Zea mays</i> L., soybean, <i>Glycine max</i> L., pumpkin <i>Telfairia occidentalis</i> Hook F. and lemon, <i>Citrus limon</i> L.

O.R. Karim
A.K. Musa
S.A. Bolu
A Muhammed-Lawal


Essential oils are considered to be direct metabolites produced in plant organs (such as secretion ducts or glandular trichomes) by intracellular biogenetic pathways. Plant seeds contain complex mixtures of over 3000 essential compounds, of which about 300 are of commercial importance. The objective of this study was to examine the essential oil composition of seeds of maize, soybean, pumpkin, and lemon. The essential oils were extracted by hydro distillation using Clevenger-type apparatus and their chemical components were isolated by gas chromatography and then analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. The major compounds found in the seeds of maize, soybean, pumpkin and lemon were oleic acid (32.80%), 1, 9 – tetradecadiene (46.52%), ethyl oleate (48.46%) and d-limonene (20.50%), respectively. Total components identified in maize, soybean, pumpkin and lemon seeds were 11, 10, 11 and 21, respectively including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other components including aldehydes, acids, esters and oxides. The present study confirmed that these seeds contained varying degrees of bioactive components of nutritional and industrial values. The potentials of these oils for enrichment of human and other animal diets are therefore recommended.

Keywords: Molecular compounds, Extraction, Isolation, Characterization, Essential Oils, Seeds