Evaluation of Selected Medicinal, Timber and Ornamental Legume Species' Seed Oils as Sources of Bioactive Lipophilic Compounds.Molecules. 2023 May 09; 28(10)M
Bioactive lipophilic compounds were investigated in 14 leguminous tree species of timber, agroforestry, medicinal or ornamental use but little industrial significance to elucidate their potential in food additive and supplement production. The tree species investigated were: Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia concinna, Albizia lebbeck, Albizia odoratissima, Bauhinia racemosa, Cassia fistula, Dalbergia latifolia, Delonix regia, Entada phaseoloides, Hardwickia binata, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Senegalia catechu, Sesbania sesban and Vachellia nilotica. The hexane-extracted oils of ripe seeds were chromatographically analysed for their fatty acid composition (GC-MS), tocochromanol (RP-HPLC/FLD), squalene and sterol (GC-FID) content. A spectrophotometrical method was used to determine total carotenoid content. The results showed generally low oil yield (1.75-17.53%); the highest was from H. binata. Linoleic acid constituted the largest proportion in all samples (40.78 to 62.28% of total fatty acids), followed by oleic (14.57-34.30%) and palmitic (5.14-23.04%) acid. The total tocochromanol content ranged from 100.3 to 367.6 mg 100 g[-1] oil. D. regia was the richest and the only to contain significant amount of tocotrienols while other oils contained almost exclusively tocopherols, dominated by either α-tocopherol or γ-tocopherol. The total carotenoid content was highest in A. auriculiformis (23.77 mg 100 g[-1]), S. sesban (23.57 mg 100 g[-1]) and A. odoratissima (20.37 mg 100 g[-1]), and ranged from 0.7 to 23.7 mg 100 g[-1] oil. The total sterol content ranged from 240.84 to 2543 mg 100 g[-1]; A. concinna seed oil was the richest by a wide margin; however, its oil yield was very low (1.75%). Either β-sitosterol or Δ5-stigmasterol dominated the sterol fraction. Only C. fistula oil contained a significant amount of squalene (303.1 mg 100 g[-1]) but was limited by the low oil yield as an industrial source of squalene. In conclusion, A. auriculiformis seeds may hold potential for the production of carotenoid-rich oil, and H. binata seed oil has relatively high yield and tocopherol content, marking it as a potential source of these compounds.