Vol. 3, Issue 4 (2018)
Physicochemical characteristics and nutritional benefits of Nigerian Cyperus esculentus (Tigernut) oil
Author(s): Nwozo Sarah O, Nwawuba Stanley U
Abstract: Tiger nut oil, although not entirely new, still largely remains unexploited in major parts of the world and underutilized even in regions where it is cultivated, especially in Nigeria. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the physiocochemical characteristics and nutritional benefits of tigernut oil. From 4 kg ground powder soxhlet extracted using n-hexane there was oil yield of 32.95%. The pale yellow oil had a specific gravity refractive index of 1.452, relative density 0.919 g/cm3, acid value 2.21 mg/KOH/g, saponification value 143.05 mg/KOH/g, iodine value 80.37g/100g and ester value 62.68. Fat soluble vitamin content analysis revealed vitamin A (72.93UI), vitamin D (49.17UI), vitamin E (55.44UI) and vitamin K (15.3mcg) and Ca, Mg, K, Na, P, Mn, I, Ni, and Zn were found in varying proportions all of which was found to fall within the daily recommended intake limit. GC/MS revealed that it contains noticeable levels of oleic acid (15.05%), tetrasiloxane (9.245%), β-sitosterol (8.860%), n-hexadecanoic acid (7.753%) and 9-octadeceadienoic acid (7.649%). Thus, tigernut is oil rich tuber, could find application as an industrial raw material and could be used for cooking.