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Pharmacological Potentials, Characterization and Fatty Acids Profile of Persea americana Mill. (Avocardo) Seed Oil Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy
ISSN: 2161-1009

Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry
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Pharmacological Potentials, Characterization and Fatty Acids Profile of Persea americana Mill. (Avocardo) Seed Oil Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy

Omeje KO1*, Ozioko JN2 and Opmeje HC3
1Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
2Department of Science Laboratory Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
3Department of Biochemistry, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Omeje KO, Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria, Tel: 07030436813, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Aug 22, 2018 / Accepted Date: Aug 29, 2018 / Published Date: Sep 05, 2018


In this study, Avocado seed oil was extracted using sohxlet apparatus, n-hexane: chloroform (30:70) at 70°C for 3 h, characterized and the pharmacological potentials assessed. The percentage oil yield was 36.93%, brown in colour and remained liquid at room temperature. The acid, peroxide and iodine values were 7.86 mg/KOH/g, 42.11 meq/ Kg-1 and 33.21 mg/100 g respectively. The identified fatty acids included Dodecanoic acid (1.05%), tetradecanoic acid (0.86%), n-hexadecanoic acid (13.19%), hexadecanoic acid (4.12%), 9,12-octadecanoic acid (0.28%), 11-octadecanoic acid (0.45%), oleic acid (40.33%), n-hexadecanoic acid (9.69%), 1,E-11-Z-13-octadecatriene (11.45%), 1,E-11-Z-13octadecatriene (6.78%), undecylanic acid (6.31%), palmitaldehyde diisopentylacetal (1.14%), 9-octadecanal (1.18%) and (E)-13-docosenoic acid (3.17%). The presence of fatty acids such as undecylenic acid, oleic acid and other essential fatty acids suggests the seed oil could possess important pharmacological properties.


Keywords: Seed oil; Fatty acid profile; GC-MS; Pharmacological potential; Agro waste


Persea americana Mill. (Avocado) is a tree plant, native to Central America, cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates around the world, belonging to the family Lauraceae, used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments, such as monorrhagia, hypertension, stomach ache, bronchitis, diarrhea, and diabetes [1]. Fluid extract of the avocado leaves is widely used in pharmaceutical products, mainly due to the diuretic characteristic of the present compounds in plant leaves [2].

Peptone, β-galactoside, glycosylated abscisic acid, alkaloids, cellulose, polygalacto urease, polyuronoids, cytochrome P-450, and volatile oils are reported to be present in this plant [1]. The fruit is a berry, consisting of a single large seed, surrounded by a butter pulp.

It contains different oil levels in the pulp, thus it is widely used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and for obtaining commercial oils similar to olive oil, because of their similar fatty acid composition [2]. The consumption of avocado fruit leads to the production of agro waste which includes the non-edible pulp and seed. Hence, the need to assess the pharmacological potentials of the seed oil of avocado.

The importance of oil span from energy generation, through membrane formation and maintenance to the biosynthesis of other essential compounds in the body. Hamm, et al. [3] reported the presence of organic molecules, which are mainly triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols, free fatty acids and other minor components such as phospholipids, phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols and hydrocarbons in oil. Seeds of plants have been used since antiquity as sources of vegetable oil [4]. Some main oil seeds as enumerated by Ononogbu [5] include coconut, soybeans, cottonseeds and ground nut. There are challenges facing the use of these seeds for oil production since there form part of the staple foods. Hence, the need to evaluate the agro waste (Avocado seed) as an alternative source of oil.

Materials and Methods

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS-QP2010 plus Shimadzu, Japan), n-hexane and other chemicals were products of Sigma-Aldrich, USA.

Plant sample collection and preparation

Seed of Persea americana Mill. (Avocado) was picked from its natural habitat in Edem-ani community of Nsukka LGA, Enugu state, Nigeria. The seed was sliced and sun dried for one fourteen days. The dried seed was ground using electric blender.

Extraction of seed oil using soxhlet apparatus

Milled sample weighing 34.48 g was placed in a thimble before adding the solvent (hexane: chloroform) in a ratio 30:70 ml in the flat bottom flask. The set-up was heated at 70°C for 3 h. After the extraction processes, the filtrate was exposed to the atmosphere and the residual solvent evaporated and oil extracted was quantified.

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis was carried out on a GC system comprising a Gas Chromatograph interfaced to a Mass Spectrometer (Schimadzu GCMS-QP2010), employing the following conditions: Column Elite-1 fused silica capillary column (30×0.25 mm ID×1 EM df, composed of 100% Dimethyl poly siloxane), operating in electron impact mode at 70 eV; helium (99.999%) as carrier gas at a constant flow of 1 ml/minute and a sample injection volume of 1 μl which was employed (split ratio of 10:1) injector temperature 250°C; ion-source temperature 280°C. The oven temperature was programmed from 110°C (isothermal for 2 minutes), with an increase of 10°C/minute, to 200°C, then 5°C/minute to 280°C, ending with a 9 minutes isothermal at 280°C.

Results and Discussion

Oil was extracted using n-hexane and chloroform in the ratio 30:70. The percentage oil yield from the seed of African star cherry was 36. 93%. Characteristics of avocado seed oil are shown in Table 1. The oil was liquid at room temperature. Acid peroxide and iodine value of the oil was 7.86 mg/KOH/g, 42.11 meq/Kg-1 and 33.21 mg/100 g respectively. The percentage oil yield of avocado seed was high when compared to the study (B. parkii, 34.0%, S. setegera 33.0%, D. microcarpum, 7.42%) of Kyari [6]. The seed oil yield of L. lanceolata (40.0%), and S. birrea (42%) [6] were higher than 36.93% obtained for Avocado seed. Also, African star fruit seed yielded 10.71% of oil [4] (2012), which is lower than the oil yield of this study.

Parameter  Property
Colour Brown
State at room temp. Liquid
 Acid value 7.86 mg/KOH/g
 Peroxide value 42.11 meq/kg-1
 Iodine value  33.21 mg/100g

Table 1: Characterization table for Avocado seed oil.

Acid value is the measure of percentage content of free fatty acids in a substance, and degree of rancidity [5], which determines the freshness of the oil. The acid value (7.86 mg/KOH/g) of Avocado seed oil is high when compared to the value of reported by Adepoju, et al. [7]. Acid values less than 1% were reported by Kyari [6]. This result shows low content of free fatty acid which may reuslt to low lipolytic activities.

Peroxide value is an index of rancidity [4]. Peroxide value of 42.11 meq/Kg-1 was obtained for Avocado seed oil. The PV was low when compared to report of Kyari [6] on six oil seeds, high PV of 77.5, 95.0, 150.0, 135.0 were obtained for B. parkii, L. lanceolata, D. microcarpum and B. sapida.

Iodine value (IV) is the number of grams of iodine that combines with 100 g of lipids, which shows the degree of unsaturation of the fat or oil, the oil is classified as a non-drying oil, and since its iodine value is less than 100 [5]. Iodine value of 33.21 g/100 g was obtained in this study. This value is low when compared to 35 mg/100 g obtained by Adebayo et al. [4] and the six values obtained by Kyari [6], soursop seed oil [7].

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS-QP2010 plus Shimadzu, Japan), system is a very efficient technique commonly used for the identification and quantification of fatty acids in substances. The unknown organic compounds in the complex mixture found in the seed oil were matched with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) library. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis (GC-MS) has been reported as an important tool for the identification and quantification of fatty acids [8].

Fourteen peaks were observed from the spectra of the study for the oil extracted from the seed of Avocado as shown in Figure 1. The compounds were confirmed by their retention time, percentage area, molecular weight and formulae respectively. Dodecanoic acid (1.05%), tetradecanoic acid (0.86%), n-hexadecanoic acid (13.19%), hexadecanoic acid (4.12%), 9,12-octadecanoic acid (0.28%), 11-octadecanoic acid (0.45%), oleic acid (40.33%), n-hexadecanoic acid (9.69%), 1,E-11-Z-13-octadecatriene (11.45%), 1,E-11-Z-13- octadecatriene (6.78%), undecylanic acid (6.31%), palmitaldehyde diisopentylacetal (1.14%), 9-octadecanal (1.18%) and (E)-13- docosenoic acid (3.17%) were identified in the seed oil of Avocardo. 87.75% of the seed oil was observed to be essential fatty acid with oleic acid contributing 40.33% (Table 2 and Figure 2).


Figure 1: Chromatogram of avocado seed oil fatty acid profile.


Figure 2: Chemical structures of the detected fatty acids.

Peaks  R. Time MW Area % Name Formulae
1 11.73 200 1.05 Dodecanoic acid C12H24O2
2 13.96 228 0.86 Tetradecanoic acid  C14H28O2
3 16.06 256 13.19 n-Hexadecanoic acid C16H32O2
4 16.14 284 4.12 Hexadecanoic acid C18H36O2
5 17.13 294 0.28 9,12-Octadecanoic acid C19H34O2
6 17.18 296 0.45 11-Octadecanoic acid C19H36O2
7 17.82 282 40.33 Oleic acid C18H34O2
8 17.96 284 9.69 n-Hexadecanoic acid C18H36O2
9 18.15 248 11.45 1,E-11-Z-13-octadecatriene C18H32
10 18.48 248 6.78 1,E-11-Z-13-octadecatriene C18H32
11 19.51 184 6.31 Undecylanic acid C11H20O2
12 19.96 308 1.14 Palmitaldehyde, Diisopentylacetal C16H54O2
13 20.44 266 1.18 9-Octadecanal C18H34O
14 22.42 338 3.17 (E)-13-Docosenoic acid C22H42O2

Table 2: Properties of the fatty acids profile of avocado seed oil.

Oleic acid has been reported to improve immune system by interfering in many components of this system such as macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils [9]. n-Hexadecanoic acid possess nematicide, pesticide, anti-androgenic, flavor, hemolytic 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, antioxidant and hypo-cholesterolemic properties as reported by Komansilan, et al. [10]. Also, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid had been reported researchers to possess anti-inflammatory, nematicide, cancer preventive, hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective activities [11]. There was no observable microbial growth on the oil after exposure to the environment for six months. This could be suggested that the seed oil contains compounds that inhibit the growth of microbes. Undecylenic acid had been reported to be antifungal, as it is used in the treatment of skin fungal infection such as athletics’ foot itching (Wikipedia, 2018).


Citation: Omeje KO, Ozioko JN, Opmeje HC (2018) Pharmacological Potentials, Characterization and Fatty Acids Profile of Persea americana Mill. (Avocardo) Seed Oil Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy. Biochem Anal Biochem 7: 361. DOI: 10.4172/2161-1009.1000361

Copyright: © 2018 Omeje KO, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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