Physicochemical parameters and fatty acid composition of cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale) oil.
The crude oil of cashew nut (anacardium accidentale) was extracted by solvent extraction process. The crude oil was assessed for physicochemical parameters and fatty acid composition. The assessment gave the following results, specific gravity (0.97), refractive index (1.47), colour (30.00 units), moisture content (0.00%), flash point (289.000C), fire point (350.000C), smoke point (149.000C), turbidity (125.50jtu) and the yield (52.40%). Others were, free fatty acid (4.52%oleic acid), acid value (7.04%oleic acid), saponification value (145.00mgKOH/goil), peroxide value (7.73meq.peroxide/kg) and iodine value (37.30mg iodine/100g). The fatty acid detected and there values were myristic acid (0.10%), palmitic acid (13.77%) ,palmitoleic acid (0.68%), stearic acid (1.34%), oleic acd (47.79%), linoleic acid (29.67%), linolenic acid (0.01%), arachidic acid (4.07%), behenic acid (2.08%) and lingnoceric acid (0.31%). The percentage yield of 52.40% makes the nut a good source of oil. The total saturated fatty acid of 21.60% and the total unsaturated fatty acid of 78.14% is an indication that the oil may not likely makes congeal at ordinary temperature. The results show that the oil can be refined to edible vegetable oil.
Keywords: Cashew nut, extraction, oil, physicochemical, unsaturated fatty acid.