Basella alba seeds as a novel source of non-conventional oil with beneficial qualities.
The search for new sources of oil with improved properties has focused our attention on the characteristics of seed oil from Basella alba, an important tropical leafy vegetable. The oil content of Basella alba seeds was 25.46±0.67%. Physicochemical properties of extracted oil were as follow: specific gravity (0.91±0.01), refractive index (1.47±0.00), lovibond colour (10.3±0.00), viscosity at 20°C (35.65±0.15 mPas), cloud point (-1.7±0.00°C) acid value (3.74±1.62 mg KOH/g), peroxide value (7.67±0.58 meq O2/kg), iodine value (107.16±2.44 g I2/100 g), saponification value (195.42±1.62 mg KOH/g). Biochemical and nutritive analysis have revealed the following assets: impurities (0.014±0.00%), unsaponifiable matter (1.10±0.02%), phosphorus (0.12±0.01 mg/g), vitamin A (0.48±0.01 mg/g) and vitamin E (0.20±0.01 mg/g). Basella alba seed oil showed higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (49.22±0.02%) made of linoleic and linolenic acids (46.10 and 3.12±0.01%, respectively). All these interesting characteristics should arouse attention for the usage of Basella alba seed oil in food and pharmaceutical industries.