Authors:O.N. Campas-Baypoli, D.I. Sánchez-Machado, C. Bueno-Solano, A.A. Escárcega-Galaz, and J. López-Cervantes
Moringa oleifera tree has been recognized internationally for its nutritional, therapeutic and medicinal properties. Dry seeds are rich sources of oil with a high potential of commercial exploitation. The present study reports the physicochemical characterization, polyphenol content, DPPH radical scavenging capacity and fatty acid profile of moringa seed oil, and the chemical composition of the seed cultivated in Sonora, Mexico. Moisture, ash, protein and lipid contents in the seed were found to be 4.7, 5.8, 26 and 39%, respectively. The oil showed a refractive index of 1.4642. The saponification number was 183 mg KOH/g oil, iodine value: 75 g I/100 g of oil, acid value: 0.49 (% oleic acid). The polyphenol content was 0.137 mg of gallic acid equivalent/g and DPPH radical scavenging capacity was 87.39%. The moringa seed oil was rich (68%) in the major fatty acid, oleic acid (C18:1n9). Moringa oil extracted by sonication showed a fatty acid profile and physicochemical properties comparable to the oil from seeds grown in different regions of the world. The optimization of the oil extraction process on a large scale shows high potential, as the oil could be marketed as edible vegetable oil, for frying purposes, or as a functional ingredient.