The physicochemical properties of the seed and the fatty acid profile of the seed oil of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) have been determined using standard methods of the AOAC. The seed had a moisture content of 9.70% and a dry matter of 90.31%. The crude protein, crude oil, crude fibre and ash contents were 39.74%, 23.70%, 3.55% and 2.77% respectively, while the carbohydrate content was 20.56%. The most abundant fatty acids in the order of abundance were oleic (32.49%), palmitic (24.89%), linoleic (14.42%), stearic (8.16%) and myristic (6.84%). The total unsaturated fatty acids (55.03%) predominated the total saturated (44.97%), while the percentage total poly-unsaturated (37.58%) was greater than that of total mono-unsaturated (17.45%). The significant level of essential fatty acids in the fruit oil is an advantage, bearing in mind that they cannot be produced in the body, but must be supplied from the food consumed for the necessary functions for which they are needed in the body. The linoleic/linolenic ratio of 5.301 butresses the nutritional importance of the seed oil as it fell within the ratio of 5.1 and 10.1 recommended by the WHO/FAO. The good total unsaturated/saturated (or PS) ratio makes the fruit oil nutritionally very useful to be adopted for domestic purposes.
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