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Moringa Oleifera seed and leaves and other parts of the plants used in Eastern Nigeria have an impressive range of multipurpose medicinal uses with high nutritional values. However, to be clinically used, more scientific data are needed. The aim of this present study is to extract and characterize the oil content of Moringa Oleifera seeds and leaves. The ground seeds and leaves were extract with n-hexane as the solvent using soxhlet extractor. The seed oil of Moringa Oleifera was analyzed for its iodine values, pH, viscosity, free fatty acids value, peroxide value, saponification value and density using conventional methodies. The maximum percentage extractive yield of oil were found to be seed (20.634%) and leaves (0.00%). The characterization analysis of the seed oil revealed that the tested parameters give these values; specific gravity (0.903), pH (5.60), saponification values (13.99), peroxide values (0.00), viscosity (580.24), free fatty acid value (49.37) and iodine values (0.33). Therefore, the results showed that Moringa Oleifera seed oil is a source of raw material for the industries as a result of its high oil yield.
Moringa Oleifera (synonym: moringa pterygosperma) is the most widely cultivated species of the genus moringa, which is the only genus in the family moringacae English common names include; Moringa, Benzolive tree, (^ab “USDA GRIN Taxonmy”) and west Indian ben. It is also known as drumstick tree, from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seeds pods, horseradish tree, from the taste of the roots which resembles horseradish, or Ben oil tree from the oil derived from the seeds. The tree itself is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10 meter in height. In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1-2 meters and allowed to regrow so the pods and leaves remains within arm’s reach. (^ab “USDA GRIN Taxonomy”).
Moringa Oleifera lam (syn. Moringa pterygosperma; commonly known as “Miracle Tree”, Horseradish tree”, or “Ben oil tree”) is the best known and most widely distributed species of morignaceae family, having an impressive range of medicinal uses with high nutritional value throughout the world. Native to western and sub-himalayan tracts, India, Pakistan, Asia and Africa, (Somali, et al 1999, and Mughal et al; 1999) this plant is well distributed in the Philippines, Cambodia, America and the Caribbean Islands (Morton, 1991). In some parts of the world, Moringa oleifera is referred to as the “drumstick tree” or the “horseradish tree”, whereas in others it is known as the “kelor tree” (Anwar and Bhanger, 2003). While in the Nile Valley, the name of the tree is ‘shagara al’ Rauwaq, which means tree for purifying (Von, 1996). In pakistan, Moringa Oleifera is locally known as “Sohanjna” and is grown and cultivated all over the country (Qaiser, 1993, and Anwar et al; 2005). It tolerates a wide range of rainfall with minimum annual rainfall requirement estimated at 250mm and maximum at over 3000mm and at pH of 5.0 – 9.0 (Palada and Changl, 2003).
Moringa Oleifera is an important food commodity which has had enormous attention as the “natural nutrition of the tropics”.
The parts of this plant includes; the roots, bark, gum, leaves, fruits (pods), flowers, seeds and seed oil. The leaves, fruits, flowers and immature pods of this plant tree a re used as a highly nutritive vegetable in many countries, particularly in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Hawaii and many parts of Africa (D’ Souza and Kulkarni 1993) (Awar and Bhanger, 2003; Anwar et al; 2005). A number of medicinal properties have been ascribed to various parts of this highly esteemed tree, (Fuglie, 2001; Faizi et al; 1998); Lalas and Tsaknis, 2002, Bhatnargar et al 1991; Siddhuraju and Becker, 2003; Dahot, 1988; Makonne et al; 1997 and the Nealth of India 1962).
The lipid profile is the collective term given to the estimation of typically, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lopporetein (LDL) cholesterol ad triacyl glycerides (TAG). Lipid profile can also be defined “lipid panel”. An extend lipid profile may include very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol. This is used to identify hyperlipidemia (various disturbances of cholesterol and triglycerides level). (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Wild M. oleifera grows naturally in forests of North West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P) of Pakistan. It is recognized as one of the main non-wood forest products of Pakistan. The wild fruit is collected by graziers from forests and sold in the local market. There has been reported a small supply about 10 tons, which is used domestically (Iqbal, 1991).
The increasing human population pressure together with the currently growing momentum of oleo-chemicals and oils/fats derived fuels (Biodiesel) has made it imperative to take advantages of more and more vegetable oils to meet the growing needs of the world. Although a number of under explored plants have been identified, lack of information on their chemical composition has limited their applications. The detailed scientific knowledge regarding the composition of M. oleifera (wild type) seed oil is of considerable importance for the development and commercialization of this potential oilseed crop also
Many works have been reported on the medicinal values and therapeutic properties of Moringa Oleifera, this has prompted the need for a project work to be carried out; to investigate the lipid profile of Moringa Oleifera seeds and leaves.
Objective of the study
The braod objective of the study is to conduct a comparative investigation into the lipid profile of moringa oleifera seeds and leaves. Specifically the objectives of the study are thus:
1. To determine the lipid content of various part of moringer plant
2. To examine the effect of temperature on the plant
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