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Abstract

THE PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ANTIOXIDANT POTENTIALS OF THEOBROMA CACAO L. SEED OIL (MALVACEAE) OBTAINED FROM SOUTHERN NIGERIA

Chioma N. Chinaka* and George Awemu

ABSTRACT

Theobroma Cacao L. (Malvaceae) is one of the major cash crops of Nigeria that has use in cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals and food industries. While the seed powder is used as herbal medicine for diabetes, cancer and heart disease, the seed oil provides good moisturizing effect (cocoa butter) for cosmetics, suppository base (Theobroma oil) in pharmaceuticals and chocolate in confectionary industries. The aim of this study is therefore to assess the physicochemical and in vitro antioxidant properties of the seed oil of Theobroma cacao L grown in Southern Nigeria. The yield obtained from the leaching process in a Soxhlet apparatus using n-hexane as solvent of extraction after 6 h of heating was 45.0%. The chemical analysis were mostly titrimetric and the results obtained were acid value (4.10 mg KOH/g oil), hydroxyl value (72.39 mg KOH/g oil), saponification value (187.65 mg KOH/g), iodine value (45.03 g iodine/100 g oil) and peroxide value (1.09 meq. O2 / Kg of oil). The IC50 of 29.12 and 27.11 μg/mL were obtained for theobroma oil and standard antioxidant ascorbic acid respectively by in vitro antioxidant studies using 1, 1 diphenyl-2- picyrlhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay for comparison. These results reveal that T. cacao has excellent natural antioxidant activity and a source of high quality oil.

Keywords: Theobroma cacao, physicochemical, antioxidant, extraction, DPPH, titrimetric.


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