Int. J. Biosci.3(6), 15-25, June 2013
This study investigated the nutritional and chemical properties of Jatropha curcas (L) seed oil from Abia State, Nigeria using standard analytical methods. Proximate composition results show it is rich in protein (29.4%), carbohydrate (16.89%) and fat (46.89%). Low concentrations of phytonutrients were also detected; alkaloids (1.5g/100g), flavonoids (0.81g/100g). The seed is also rich in essential and non-essential amino acids in varying concentrations. The mineral content is low ranging between 0.09 ± 0.01Mg/Kg for Pb as lowest to 163.38 ± 4.00Mg/Kg for Mg as the highest amongst other minerals. Physicochemical analysis result shows percentage yield (62.20), specific gravity (0.92), acid value (9.48), iodine value (95.00), and saponification number (195.00), while peroxide value and percentage free fatty acid were less than 5. The Jatropha curcas (L) oil is also rich in unsaturated fatty acids especially oleic acid (52.27%) and linoleic acid (27.87%). The dominant saturated fatty acids were palmitic acid (14.24%) and stearic acid (5.15%).These results suggest that Jatropha curcas (L) seed oil may not be suitable for human consumption except it is subjected to detoxification and purification before use, but may be suitable for industrial purposes such as production of soaps, paints and lubricants.
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