THE PHYSICO CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF AFRICAN STAR APPLE SEED OIL
Oil extracted from African star apple by continuous extraction process using soxhlet apparatus was subjected to physico chemical and fatty acid profile analysis. Results obtained show that the acid value, lodine value, peroxide value, saponification value, free fatty acid, refractive index, melting point,smoke point, flash point, fire point, and specific gravity are 30.67mg/g, 20.67mg/g, 5.00mg/g, 48.00mg/g, 0.87%, 0.96, 1.47, 19.00OC, 1.03, 122.00OC, 156.00OC, and 180.00OC respectively. All these values confirm that African star apple oil is suitable for human consumption as well as for industrial uses which compared favourably with the value obtained in palm oil, groundnut oil as well as cotton seed oil (Adewusi, 1997). In term of fatty acid profile African star apple oil contains high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids 85% oleic acid 7% and 6% of linoleic and linolenic respectively while saturated fatty acid such as arachidoic, lauric were recorded with maximum value of 17% recorded for arachidoic and lauric. Therefore African star apple oil can be described as oil that has more unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fatty acids which made it suitable for human consumption as it prevent low density lipoprotein which is a precursor of cholesterol that results into heart attack and hypertension.