Physicochemical Properties of Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum L.) Seed Oil


Garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) is an edible, underutilised herb, grown mainly for its seeds in India. Physicochemical properties, minor components (unsaponifiable matter, tocopherols, carotenoids), fatty acid composition and storage stability of garden cress seed oil (GCO) were studied. Cold press, solvent and supercritical CO2 extraction methods were employed to extract the oil. The total oil content of garden cress (GC) seeds was 21.54, 18.15 and 12.60% respectively by solvent, supercritical CO2 and cold press methods. The physical properties of GCO extracted by the above methods were similar in terms of refractive index, specific gravity and viscosity. However, cold pressed oil showed low PV and FFA compared to the oil extracted by other methods. α-Linolenic acid (34%) was the major fatty acid in GCO followed by oleic (22%), linoleic (11.8%), eicosanoic (12%), palmitic (10.1%) erucic (4.4%), arachidic (3.4%) and stearic acids (2.9%). Oleic acid (39.9%) and α-linolenic acid (42.1%) were the predominant fatty acids at the sn-2 position. The total tocopherol and carotenoid content of GCO was 327.42 and 1.0 μmol/100 g oil, respectively. The oil was stable up to 4 months at 4 °C. Tocopherol and BHT offered the least protection, while ascorbyl palmitate (200 ppm) offered the maximum protection to the oil, when subjected to the accelerated oxidative stability test. Thus GCO can be considered as a fairly stable oil with a high content of α-linolenic acid.

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The authors thank Dr. V. Prakash, Director, CFTRI, and Dr. P.V. Salimath, Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, for their encouragement and support. Dr. K. Uday Shankar, Food Engineering Department, CFTRI, is acknowledged for his technical help in conducting supercritical CO2 extraction experiments. KAN gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance in the form of a project from the Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR), New Delhi. Financial support to Mr. B.T. Diwakar through Senior Research Fellowship from Council for scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India is also gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Kamatham Akhilender Naidu.

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Diwakar, B.T., Dutta, P.K., Lokesh, B.R. et al. Physicochemical Properties of Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum L.) Seed Oil. J Am Oil Chem Soc 87, 539–548 (2010).

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  • Garden cress seeds
  • Fatty acids
  • Tocopherol
  • Carotenoids
  • α-linolenic acid
  • Storage stability