The quality of Palm oil determines its consumer and market acceptability and price, and this correlates directly to its Moisture (%), Free Fatty Acid (% FFA) and Total Fatty Matter (%TFM) content. Therefore, businesses utilizing palm oil for production are very particular about these quality parameters. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the quality of Low free fatty acid (LFFA) and high free fatty acid (HFFA) crude palm oil (CPO) samples aged 5 â€“ 10 days, purchased from four locations in Southern Nigeria including Calabar, Port Harcourt, Benin and Ibadan for public information. HFFA CPO is produced using traditional methods while LFFA CPO is produced by modern milling methods. The oil samples were analysed for quality and fatty acid composition using standard analytical methods. The results obtained showed that FFA and total contaminants were significantly (p<0.05) lower in LFFA and higher in HFFA CPO samples. For instance, the values of FFA were significantly (P<0.05) higher in HFFA (9.25Â±0.70-12.76Â±1.20%) when compared to LFFA CPO values (2.44Â±0.30-2.95Â±0.08%). No significant (p>05) difference was observed in the mean saponification value of LFFA (198.95Â±0.80 mgKOH/g oil) and HFFA CPO (198.62Â±0.40 mgKOH/g oil). The mean acid value (AV) for LFFA CPO was 8.77 Â± 0.17 and 6.72Â±0.12 mgKOH/g oil for HFFA CPO. TFM for LFFA CPO ranged between 91.94Â±0.40 - 92.45Â±0.75% showing that there is no significant (p>0.05) variability in TFM values for LFFA CPO. However, TFM values for HFFA CPO were significantly (P<0.05) lower and varied between 81.06Â±0.64% to 85.16Â±1.05%. GC-MS results gave dominant fatty acids for both grades of CPO as Palmitic acid, Oleic acid and linoleic acid. The palmitic acid in HFFA CPO was 44.670Â±0.85% and 45.641Â±1.77% in LFFA CPO. Oleic acid content was 37.370Â±0.92% in HFFA oil and 39.005Â±1.06% in LFFA oil. It was concluded that CPO is rich in SFAs, MUFAs and PUFAs and the ratio of TSFAs to TUFAs for both LFFA and HFFA CPO is 1:1, and the available TFM in LFFA CPO is significantly higher than in HFFA CPO.
Keywords: Quality, Crude Palm Oil, Free Fatty Acid, Total Fatty Matter, GC-MS, Fatty Acids