Turkish Journal of Chemistry




In our current phytochemical investigation on the Tunisian plant Lycium arabicum Schweinf. ex Boiss., we attempted to explore the oil obtained from its fruits. This oil was extracted by cold maceration with ethanol and was analyzed to estimate its sterol and fatty acid content. The physicochemical parameters of the oil were also examined. They were specified in terms of acid value (0.8 ± 0.01 mg KOH g-1 oil), peroxide value (10.9 ± 0.02 meq O2 kg-1 oil), saponification value (162.97 ± 0.03 mg KOH g-1 oil), chlorophylls (1.011 ± 0.03 mg kg-1 oil) and carotenoids (42.1 ± 0.05mg kg-1 oil). Gas chromatography analysis demonstrated that oleic (33.5%), palmitic (26.81%) and linoleic (21.51%) acids were the dominant fatty acids. Furthermore, the analysis of this oil with HPLC equipped with a differential refractometer detector (DRD) showed that Palmitic-Oleic-Oleic (21.10%) and Oleic-Oleic-Oleic/Palmitoleic-Palmitic-Palmitic (17.11%) are the main triacylglycerols in this oil. It was also found that this oil contains high levels of β-sitosterol (31.51%), Δ-5-Avenasterol (25.17%), and Δ-7-Avenasterol (15.22%). Analysis of its spectroscopic features allowed us to deduce that this oil contains some sugars like glucose, sucrose, and fructose as well as several carotenoid pigments. From this perspective, Lycium arabicum fruits oil (LAFO) maybe regarded as a worthwhile product that deserves supplementary consideration and investigation as a potentially new multi-purpose candidate for agro-food as a sweetener and a beautifier, in addition to its extreme usefulness for cosmetic and medicinal applications owing to its richness in phytosterols and conservative pigments.


Lycium arabicum, edible oil, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, sugars

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