Active Compounds, Health Effects, and Extraction of Unconventional Plant Seed Oils

  • Hasene Keskin ÇavdarEmail author


Recently, there has been an increasing interest for the oils from unconventional plant seeds with growing health awareness among consumers. These oils are considered as a source of dietary or specialty oils with their valuable functional components. Specialty oils obtained from unconventional plant seeds are one of the richest sources of natural bioactive compounds such as tocopherols, squalene, carotenoids, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. The high levels of those bioactive lipids are of importance in nutritional and pharmaceutical applications. Epidemiological researches have demonstrated that many of these bioactive compounds possess anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, antitumor, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, or antiviral activities to a greater or lesser extent. Thus, researchers have recently focused on the new sources of unconventional plant seed oils and their bioactive compounds and nutraceutical effects. The seeds of black cumin, sesame, flax, nettle, pomegranate, grape, and pumpkin are the most common specialty oil sources that are used in alternative and folk medicine to prevent some chronic diseases and also improve immune function. Extraction method of unconventional seed oils is a key factor to obtain high-quality oils preserving their biologically active compounds. Today, there is much interest in novel, clean, and promising techniques to extract seed oils including higher concentration of bio-compounds overcoming the limitations of conventional extraction methods. This chapter summarizes the specialty plant seed oils, their bioactive compounds and functional and nutraceutical properties, as well as the novel extraction methods.


Unconventional plant seeds Bioactive compounds Nutraceutical applications Novel oil extraction methods Specialty oils 



Aqueous enzymatic extraction


α-Linolenic acid


Conjugated linolenic acid




Docosapentaenoic acid




Gallic acid equivalent


Gas-assisted mechanical extraction


γ-Linolenic acid


High-density lipoproteins


Linoleic acid


Low-density lipoproteins


Microwave-assisted extraction


Pulsed electric field extraction


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Supercritical carbon dioxide


Stearidonic acid


Supercritical fluid extraction


Ultrasound-assisted extraction


α-Eleostearic acid


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Faculty, Food Engineering DepartmentThe University of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey

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