Savanna Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 4(1):35-42
Quantification and Analysis of the seed oil of three Nigerian Cucurbits
Karaye, I. U., Hayatu, M., Mustapha, Y. and Sani, L. A.

Extraction and quantification of the percentage oil yield of the seed of three Nigerian Cucurbits was performed using standard biochemical procedures. Analysis of the physicochemical properties of the seed oil and the GC-MS analysis of the seed oil were carried out with the oil extraction done using n-hexane as the solvent of extraction. Percentage seed oil obtained were subjected to study of Physico-chemical properties and the results indicated, highest percentage oil yield was for Lagenaria siceraria with (59.66±2.21) which was followed by (51.35±2.04) obtained for Citrullus lanatus while the least (45.93±1.54) was obtained for Cucurbita maxima. Moisture contents were evaluated with (2.21±0.58) in Citrullus lanatus, (2.03±0.53) was obtained in Cucurbita maxima while Lagenaria siceraria had (1.98±0.51) respectively. Analysis for acid value revealed (35.17±1.38) to (37.44±1.19) with the least value was obtained in Citrullus lanatus while Cucurbita maxima had (37.44±1.29) and Lagenaria siceraria had (36.47±1.24). Saponification value was evaluated with the range of values from (31.80±1.23) to (39.60±1.86) with the highest value for Lagenaria siceraria; Citrullus lanatus had least value and Cucurbita maxima had (34.23±1.30). Analysis for the oils’ kinematic viscosity revealed the range of values from (0.76±0.07) to (0.92±0.09) with the highest in Lagenaria siceraria while the least value was in Cucurbita maxima. Iodine value was determined and the highest value (125.18±3.15) obtained in Lagenaria siceraria while the least (105.58±2.93) was obtained in Cucurbita maxima, and (119.74±2.98) was obtained in Citrullus lanatus. Specific gravity was determined and the following results were obtained, (0.87±0.06) was the least value found in Cucurbita maxima, (0.89±0.12) was found in Citrullus lanatus while the highest value (0.93±0.18) was identified in Lagenaria siceraria. For Cetane number evaluation, results obtained indicated that (38.00±1.23) was obtained in Citrullus lanatus; Lagenaria siceraria had the highest (46.00±1.12) while Cucurbita maxima had (42.00±1.44). Oil colour was determined and the results indicated the colour range from yellow (Y), golden yellow (GY) and pale yellow (PY) for Citrullus lanatus, Cucurbita maxima, Lagenaria siceraria respectively. State of the fuels at room temperature was determined and the results indicated that the three were all liquid at room temperature. There was significant difference (P≤0.05) in the percentage oil yield, iodine value, saponification value, and Cetane number among the studied species. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the seed oils revealed the composition of the various compounds with numerous potent applications. In Citrullus lanatus, seven compounds have been isolated with predominant ones as polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Squalene, 9, 12Octadecadienoic acid, and 2-Hydroxy-1-droxyhyl methyl) ethyl ester, gamma-Tocopherol, 2, 6, 10, 14-Tetramethyl (-7-3methyl) and 17-Pentatriacotane. For Cucurbita maxima seeds, fourteen compounds have been isolated with n-Hexadecanoic acid, 10, 13Octadecanoic acid methyl ester and 9-Octadecenoic acid methyl ester as the predominant ones. Others include Linoelaidic acid, oleic acid, Cis-Vaccenic acid, Heptadecane and Tetracosane. 1, 8, 11-Heptadecatriene, 9-Octadecenoic acid, n-Propyl 9, 12 Octadecadienoate, Glacidyl 9-nonadecenoate, Pentacosane and Heptadecane. In Lagenaria siceraria, eight compounds have been isolated and they include n-Hexadecanoic acid, conjugated linoleic acid, 9, 12-Octadecadienoic acid with others being 1, 3, 12Nonadecatriene, Linolaidic acid, Squalene as well as gamma-tocopherol. Looking at the appreciable quantities of the seed oils as well as their fuel qualities, it can be ascertained that cucurbits seeds look quite promising in the quest for alternative fuels to fuel human developmental strategies in a near future. This is in addition to other valuable compounds laden in the studied species.