Physicochemical properties and proximate composition of Sclerocarya birrea was studied by n-hexane extraction of its oil. The oil contents of raw and roasted kernel were determined to be 46.4 and 44.1% respectively, and their specific gravity to be 0.88 and 0.91 with acid values of 4.20 and 2.52, respectively. Saponification values were also calculated to be 12.48 and 11.36 in raw and roasted kernel respectively. Regarding the proximate compositions of the raw seed powder and its residue, moisture contents of 4.17 and 4.00%, respectively, were calculated. Respective fibre, fat, and carbohydrate contents were also determined. Of interest were the high lipid contents of 57.25 and 26.50%, respectively. This suggests that the oil from marula seeds can be extracted commercially. Also, the high protein content indicates that both the raw powder and its residue can contribute to the nutritional needs of the local population.
Key words: Sclerocarya birrea, physicochemical properties, proximate analysis, nutrient, oil.
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