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Profile and levels of fatty acids and bioactive constituents in mahua butter from fruit-seeds of buttercup tree [Madhuca longifolia (Koenig)]


Madhuca longifolia Syn. M. indica (Sapotaceae) is an important economic tree growing throughout the subtropical region of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Information regading the exact composition of mahua butter (also known as mowrah butter) from fruit-seeds of buttercup or mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia) is scare. In the present contribution, lipid composition and characteristics of mahua butter from the Indian buttercup tree were determined. A combination of different chromatographic techniques were performed to analyze lipid classes, fatty acids, and fat-soluble bioactives of mahua fat. n-Hexane extract of finely-ground buttercup fruit-seed meal was found to be about 58%. This observation confirmed the fact that the buttercup fruit-seeds is a rich source of fat. The extracted fat was yellow in color and solid at room temperature. The amount of neutral lipids in the crude mahua fat was the highest (ca. 95.4% of total lipids), followed by glycolipids and phospholipids, respectively. Oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linoleic were the major fatty acids in mahua fat and its’ lipid classes. The ratio of unsaturates to saturates was higher in the neutral lipid subclasses than in the polar lipid fractions. Mahua butter being characterized by a relatively high amount of phytosterols, wherein the sterol markers were Δ5-avenasterol and β-sitosterol. γ-Tocopherol was the major tocopherol isomer while the rest being β and α isomers. When mahua butter and extra-virgin olive oil were compared upon their radical scavenging activity (RSA) toward the stable 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, mahua butter exhibited stronger RSA. In consideration of potential utilization, detailed knowledge on the composition of mahua butter is of major importance. The diversity of applications to which mahua butter can be put gives this substance great industrial importance.

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Correspondence to Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan.

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Ramadan, M.F., Sharanabasappa, G., Parmjyothi, S. et al. Profile and levels of fatty acids and bioactive constituents in mahua butter from fruit-seeds of buttercup tree [Madhuca longifolia (Koenig)]. Eur Food Res Technol 222, 710–718 (2006).

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