The seeds of two commonly consumed spices; Monodora myristica (Mm) and Myristica fragrans (Mf) were separately defatted with n-hexane and the resulting oils were analyzed for their physicochemical properties and fatty acids profile with a view to assessing their nutritional potentials. Results revealed that Mm and Mf had respective percentage oil yields of 25% and 37.7%; free fatty acid of 32.52 and 1.71%; saponification values of 240.95 and 230.47 mgKOH/g; iodine values of 89.75 and 97.75 gI2/100g oil; peroxide values of 2.32 and 1.65 MeqKOH/g. Oleic acid (36.35%), linoleic acid (50.27%) and linolenic (1.55%) acids were the major unsaturated fatty acids detected in M. myristica spice oil while palmitic acid (8.78%) and butyric acid (3.74%) were the few saturated fatty acids contained in the oil. In Monodora fragran soil, palmitoleic (1.78%), oleic (14.82%) and linolenic (3.36 %) were the unsaturated fatty acids obtained, while butyric (24.20%), hexanoic (6.74%), lauric (16.71%), myristic (3.40%), palmitic (26.72%) and stearic (2.57%) were the saturated fatty acids detected in the oil. M. myristica contained higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to Monodora fragrans. The high free fatty acids with low iodine value in Mm and high saturated fatty acids in Mf called for caution in their encapsulation in food formulations.
Key words: Monodora myristica, Myristica fragrans, fatty acids profile, food formulations.
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