Physicochemical Properties of Avocado Pear (Persea americana) Oil and its Suitability for Domestic and Industrial Uses
AbstractObjective: This study was designed to determine the physicochemical properties of the avocado pear oil and to establish its suitability for domestic and industrial uses.. Materials and Methods: Mature ripe avocado pears were hand harvested from ten different trees from different locations in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. The pears were picked at mature green stage of development and allowed to ripen off the plant at room temperature to optimum eating quality within four days. The oil from edible avocado pear (Persea americana) was extracted using the Soxhlet extraction method and characterized for specific gravity, refractive index, free fatty acids, saponification value, iodine value, acid value and biofuel potential using standard methods. The percent oil content in the fruit pulp was determined. Results: The oil content of avocado pear was 18.4%. The results of physico-chemical characteristics show avocado oil to have a moisture content of 1.6%, acid value (6.01mgKOH/g) and free fatty acid value (1.68%). The saponification value obtained for the oil was 190mgKOH/g and biofuel potential (Hu) of 39.95MJ/L Conclusion: The results obtained for physicochemical properties of the avocado pear oil such as the low moisture content and acid value as well as the high saponification value and biofuel potential value all suggest the suitability of the oil for domestic and industrial uses. Key words: Avocado pear, oil, characteristics, potentials, physico-chemical properties
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