Seed oil composition of Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile from Iran
Introduction: Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile belongs to the Fabaceae family and the subfamily Mimosoideae; and commonly called Gum arabic tree. As the young pods and seeds are eaten roasted by the people in South Iran. Objective: The oil composition of the mature seeds of A. nilotica collected from natural habitats of the south of Iran were analyzed in order to determine their potential for human or animal consumption. Methods: The extracted oil was analyzed by gas-chromatography/mass spectroscopy method (GC/MS). Results: The oil content in these edible seeds was found to be 3.4% (v/w) fresh weight. A rare phytosterol, six fatty acids, nine hydrocarbons and one diterpenoid were identified which constituted about 83.5% of the oil. The phytosterol, 26-ethylcholesta-5,25(Z)-dien-3.β-ol (20.8%) as well as essential saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were the main components. Other components were present in amounts lower than 5%. Conclusion: It is concluded that the seed oil could be a new natural source for human nutrition.