R. D. Nagre, I. Oduro, W. O. Ellis
Characterization of fats and oils is important in assessing their potential economic uses. This study was carried out to determine and compare the physicochemical characteristics of a pressed crude fat (PCF), solvent extracted fat (SEF) and the refined pressed fat (RPF) from the kernels of Pycnanthus angolensis (Pycnanthus Kombo). The stability of the Kombo fat over a period of 21weeks was also investigated. Solvent extraction recorded a higher yield of 74.13 (±2.21)% compared to 41.08(±0.56)% by mechanical pressing. A comparison of the physicochemical characteristics of the three fat samples showed significant (p< 0.05) differences. The high saponification value suggests that the Kombo fat, preferably the refined fat is suitable for soap production. The low iodine value indicates a high degree of saturation of the fat as well as its non-drying nature. Stability of the crude fat under ambient conditions over the period of study was partly due to the presence of a natural antioxidant. Thus the fat is a good source of natural antioxidant in the stabilisation of human and animal foods against rancidity, colour and odour development.
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