Quality Assessment of Oil Extracted from Two Species of Malabar Spinach (Basella alba)

  • Ifeoluwa Adedotun Department of Chemical Sciences, Osun State University, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.


The study assesses the quality of oil extracted from two species of Malabar Spinach (Green Malabar Spinach and Red Malabar Spinach). The aim of the study is to determine the usefulness of the oils extracted from these two species of Malabar spinach for industrial usage and human consumption while the objectives are; the extraction of oils from the spinaches, determination of free fatty acids profile and evaluation of the usefulness of the extracted oils. Soxhlet apparatus was used for the extraction of the oils with hexane as the extracting medium. Gas chromatogram was used to carry out the fatty acid methyl ester analysis to determine the fatty acid composition of the oils. Both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were present in both oils. The saturated fatty acids present were; lauric acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid, lignocenaric acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and myristic acid. The unsaturated fatty acids present were; oleic acid, eicosenoic acid, palmatoleic acid, erucic acid, docosahexanaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. The total unsaturated fatty acid present in both oils amounted to about 52.36% in the green Malabar spinach oil and about 50.7% in the red Malabar spinach oil. The total saturated fatty acid present in the oils amounted to about 21.41% in the green Malabar spinach oil and 22.19% in the red Malabar spinach oil. The total unsaturated fatty acids present in the oils are greater than the total saturated fatty acids in them. Therefore, from this study, it can be recommended that the oils are useful for human consumption and industrial purposes because of the health benefits, lubricating properties and softening properties of the oils.  


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