Essential oil and fatty acid profile of epicarps and seeds of Zanthoxylum chalybeum plant.
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Zanthoxylum chalybeum plant is the most important plant used in the tropical Africa as a spice and medicine. This study evaluated the fixed oils and essential oils in the epicarp and the seed of the plant. Fixed oil was got by maceration with hexane, in the epicarp (5.03g) and seed (5.02g) the fixed oil yield obtained was 12.1272% and 53.7849% respectively. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation in the Clevenger apparatus and also extracted by maceration using hexane, the results show that the yield in the epicarp (7.6g) and seed (10.0g) was 1.3158% and 0.00% respectively. GC/MS analysis of fixed oils obtained from the epicarp and seed (table 3 and 4). Three components were identified in fixed oil of the epicarp and the most dominant were linoleic acid (83.90%) and oleic acid (10.22%). On the other hand, four components were identified in fixed oil of the seed and the most dominant were oleic acid (69.07%) and palmitic acid (29.07%). This results show that unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid, oleic acid) are more dominant than saturated fatty acids (palmitic acid). This unsaturated fatty acids help to lower a person's levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and build stronger cell membranes in the body. The essential oil on the other hand indicated twenty nine components in the essential oil of the epicarp ( hydrodistilled) (table 5) and the most dominant were limonene (18.66%), caryophyllene oxide (12.13%) and aromandendrene (8.70%).