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Milk Thistle Seed Oil Constituents from Different Varieties Grown in Iran


In this study, fatty acids, phytosterol classes and tocopherols composition of Milk thistle seeds oil were determined at four varieties grown in Ardebil-Iran. The four varieties consisted of two modified foreign varieties—Budakalaszi (originally from Hungary) and the CN-seed variety (originally from England) and two native varieties, namely Khoreslo and Babak Castle. The oil content of the seeds ranged from 26 to 31%. Among the fatty acids, linoleic acid had the highest percentage (50–54%) followed by oleic acid (23–29%) and palmitic acid (7–8%). This is the first detailed report on the phytosterol classes of milk thistle seeds oil. The 4-Desmethylsterol class was predominant (1,800–2,200 μg/g) followed by 4,4′-dimethylsterols (50–85 μg/g) and 4-monomethylsterols (26–35 μg/g). The α-, β-, γ-, and δ-tocopherols ranged from 187 to 465, 10 to 51, 9 to 12, and 18 to 80 μg/g oil, respectively. Based on the results obtained, the extracted oil from milk thistle seeds are rich in essential fatty acids, sterols and vitamin E and can be an attractive candidate for use in food preparation mixed with other vegetable oils or alone.

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Correspondence to Sodeif Azadmard-Damirchi.

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Fathi-Achachlouei, B., Azadmard-Damirchi, S. Milk Thistle Seed Oil Constituents from Different Varieties Grown in Iran. J Am Oil Chem Soc 86, 643–649 (2009).

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  • Fatty acids
  • Milk thistle seed oil
  • Phytosterol classes
  • Tocopherols