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Oil and squalene in Amaranthus grain and leaf

He, H.P., Corke, H.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2003 v.51 no.27 pp. 7913-7920
Amaranthus, seeds, leaves, chemical constituents of plants, seed oils, plant fats and oils, squalene, lipid content, lipid composition, palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, fatty acid composition, saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, principal component analysis, developmental stages
Amaranthus grain of 104 genotypes from 30 species was investigated for oil and squalene contents and fatty acid profiles. The overall average oil content in Amaranthus grain was 5.0%, ranging from 1.9 to 8.7%. Squalene concentration in extracted oils ranged from trace to 7.3%, with an average concentration of 4.2%. The average contents of three major fatty acids in Amaranthus grain were 22.2, 29.1, and 44.6% for palmitic, oleic, and linoleic, respectively. The average fat content in dried mature leaves of 45 Amaranthus genotypes was 1.63%, ranging from 1.08 to 2.18%. The squalene concentration in leaf lipid extracts averaged 0.26%, ranging from trace to 0.77%, which is much lower than that from seeds. The major fatty acids of leaf extracts were linolenic, linoleic, and palmitic. Linolenic ranged from 56.5 to 62.0% of total fatty acids; linoleic, from 15.5 to 24.7%; and palmitic acid, from 13.5 to 15.5%. As for the fatty acid compositions at different growth stages, fatty acid content in leaf lipid was lower in mature leaves than in young leaves. The saturated/unsaturated ratio decreased when the leaf grew to maturity. Principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out on compositional characteristics of grain. The first two components accounted for 70% of the total variance (38.3 and 21.7%, respectively). There was a positive correlation between oil content and squalene yield, and a negative correlations were found between linoleic and either of the other two major fatty acids, palmitic and oleic. The taxonomic relationship among the species was also elucidated by PCA.