EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS OF MYRISTIC OIL FROM MONODORA MYRISTICA (EHURU)
As a result of the increase in the demand for oils and fats for both industrial and consumption purposes, frantic efforts have been initiated through research and experiments to find out as much sources of oil and fats as possible. Before now, oils and fats used by man were those obtained from animals, but presently, efforts through research and experiments have revealed a lot of plant sources of fats and oils to meet the observed increment in demand. These plants oils are otherwise known as vegetable oil and are obtained either from the seeds or the nuts of a plant. Examples of these oils are myristic oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, oil bean seed oil, coconut oil among others.
As stated above, one of the fruits borne by the frantic efforts to find suitable alternatives to animal sources of oils and fats is the discovery of myristic oil. Myristic oil is an extract from monodora myristica (Ehuru) of the family annonaceae. The oil is gotten from the seeds of the tree plant, which its seeds, are commonly used in the flavouring of food. Apart from the use of its seeds in food flavouring myristic oil is a very good edible oil it contains about 25% yield of the edible oil and 5% of volatile oil. (Van Oss 1975). Myristic oil just like other vegetable oils can be obtained by soxhlet extraction method, cold method, steam distillation among other extraction techniques.
Here in the eastern part of Nigeria, Monodora myristica is major grown in Nsukka, Enugu State. The tree considerably call and well branched. The fruits are round and big like that of bread fruit; containing numerous shelled seeds within the inner mass of the fruits. The seeds are capsular in shape and remain the base for its propagation. The fruit detatches and falls on the ground when riped; and the harvesting is done after the fruit must have decomposed. The harvesting period is 10th to 12th months of the year. (Okafor 1983). The seeds dishes out or powerful fragrance hence its use in the flavouring of food.
The English name for Monodora Myristica is Africa nut meg while its local name is Ehuru.
The aim of this research work is to extract and characterized myristic oil in order to ascertain its usefulness either as an edible oil or an industrial oil.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There has been high consumption demand on common oils such as palm oil, groundnut oil, coconut oil etc; which has consequently brought about an increase in the cost of these oils. Ascertaining the consumption viability of myristic oil would attract people’s interest in using it; thereby solving the problem of high demand and the consequent high cost on those common oils.
The raw material (Monodora myristica) is seasonal and presently, it is scarce and costly.
Through this work, people will become aware that Monodora myristica is not only used in food flavouring, rather it also serves as good source of edible oil.
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