The desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca L.) can be one of the most common trees in Senegal. Thus, the objective is to carry out an analytical fractionation of these seeds to consider prospects for valuing the different constituents and a diagram of fractionation processes. The physical characterization of the seeds made it possible to know the fruit-seed and kernel-hull proportions. The chemical composition of the seeds shows that three main fractions represent 90% of its dry matter: The fibrous (68%), the lipid (14%) and the proteins (nearly 9%). The kernel is made up of 34.50% (80% of the lipid) and 28.75% of proteins (or 93% of the protein) while the hull is essentially fibrous, 90% contains 85% of the fibers. The high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids oleic and linoleic (73%) associated with those of saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic) in high proportions (27%) and the high contents of sterols (2.11 g/kg), and in tocopherols (512.40 mg/kg), make desert date oil an excellent food oil. On the other hand, it has qualities that make it suitable for use in various non-food applications. Proteins are made up of three main amino acids: glutamic acid (20.35%), arginine (14.42%) and aspartic acid (11.29%). The amino acid composition is close to that of oil seeds whose cakes are widely used in animal or even human food. Given their essentially lignocellulosic composition, the hulls obtained from shelling can be used as fuel or be extruded and used for the manufacture of composite agro-materials.
Key words: Desert date, Balanites aegyptiaca, seeds, analytical fractionation, proteins, lipids.
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