© Copyright by Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci., 2012, Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 1-7
Ziziphus mauritiana L. belongs to the Rhamnaceae family,
fruit of which is commonly known as ber in India and Paki-
stan. Another domesticated species of the genus Ziziphus
is Z .jujuba Mill, which is native to China and known as Chi-
nese jujube. In the 1990s, the International Centre for Unde-
rutilized Crops (ICUC), following a number of consultations
with national programs in Africa and Asia, highlighted Z.
mauritiana as a priority species for enhanced research atten-
tion. ICUC has published a monograph on ber and other ju-
jubes highlighting the research needs for this genus [Azam-Ali
et al., 2006]. Z. mauritiana L. is thought to be native to tropi-
cal Asia from where it was carried out to Africa and Australia.
Ber fruit is exported to the Middle East from India, Thailand,
Ber fruit is consumed fresh or dried and is used to pre-
pare jams, candied fruit, beverages, and other food prod-
ucts. The ber fruit has a high sugar content (sucrose, glucose
fructose and starch); it is therefore high in carbohydrates,
which provide energy. The fresh ber fruits contain 81% of wa-
* Corresponding author: Fax: +9222 2771560
E-mail: email@example.com (Dr. N. Memon)
ter and also have protein with many essential amino acids
(asparginine, arginine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, glycine,
serine and threonine) [ Morton et al., 1987; Azam-Ali et al.,
2006]. Besides fruits; roots, bark, leaves, wood, and seeds are
also reported to have medicinal uses [Azam-Ali et al., 2006].
At the present time, the market for jujube/ber fruits is restrict-
ed to producing regions; one of the reasons for slow export
growth besides other marketing reasons is the lack of aware-
ness regarding the fruit and its nutritional values. Annual pro-
duction of ber fruit in Pakistan is 23.225 million tons [Anony-
After ICUC initiatives, ber fruit has been considered for
nutritional and phytochemical studies. The ber fruit is report-
ed to be more rich in vitamin C and phosphorus than apples
and oranges [Azam-Ali et al., 2006; Obeed et al., 2008]. Re-
cently sugars, organic acids, phenolic compounds (in purifi ed
extracts) and triterpenoids are also reported in Z. mauritiana
L. fruit [Guo et al., 2010; Muchuweti et al., 2005]. Mucilage
content of the fruit has also been characterized to be used
in the food industry [Sepúlveda et al., 2007].
Antioxidants in fruits are evaluated worldwide to assess
the health benefi cial role and are reported for many fruits
grown around the world. The antioxidant potential of plant
extracts is usually assessed by a wide range of procedures
Phenolic Compounds and Seed Oil Composition of Ziziphus mauritiana L. Fruit
Ayaz Ali Memon1, Najma Memon1*, Devanand L. Luthria3, Amanat Ali Pitafi 2, Muhammad Iqbal Bhanger1
1National Centre of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh,
Pakistan, 2PCSIR Laboratories Complex, Shahrah-e-Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Off University Road,
Karachi -75280.Pakistan, 3Food Composition and Methods Development Lab, 10300 Baltimore Ave.,
Human Nutrition Research Center, Bldg. 161 BARC-East Beltsville, MD 20705–2350, USA
Key words: Ziziphus mauritiana L., phenolics, seed oil, fatty acid, tocopherols, sterols
Ber is a tropical fruit which grows from the tree species, Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk. The pericarp of this fruit is consumed either fresh or dried while
its seeds are usually discarded as waste. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antioxidant activity and phenolic content of the fruit, and to
evaluate if any potential value-added phytochemicals can be extracted from seed waste. The edible portion of the fruit was extracted with 60% aqueous
methanol by sonication and then assayed for total phenolic content, antioxidant activity, and individual phenolic compounds by HPLC-DAD. The seed
oil extracted with n-hexane was assayed for fatty acid composition, sterols, and tocopherols content by GC-MS. The total phenolic content of the fresh
fruit was 1.28 g/100 g gallic acid equivalent, with an antioxidant activity of 50.9 μmol/100 g quercetin equivalent by Folin-Ciocalteu and DPPH assays
respectively. Hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillin, ortho- and para-coumaric acid, epicatechin, quercetin, and naringenin were tentatively identifi ed by match-
ing retention time and UV spectra with those of commercial reference standards. GC-MS analysis of the TMS derivative of fruit extract showed
the presence of following compounds: propanoic, hexanoic, heptanoic, octanoic, nonanoic, decanoic, dodecanoic, n-pentadecanoic, hexadecanoic,
benzoic, and trihydroxybenzoic acids. In addition, D-fructose, galactofuranoside, gluconic acid, and β-sitosterol were also detected. In seed oil of ber,
the fatty acids such as, hexanoic, octanoic, 7-octadecenoic, 9,12-octadecendoic, eicosanoic, 11-eicosenoic, and docosanoic acid with 7-octadecenoic
acid, were found to make up 55% of total fatty acids. Squalene, γ-tocopherol and stigmasterol were identifi ed as minor constituents in the unsaponifi -
able fraction of seed oil. Current study shows that ber fruit is a good source of healthy phytochemicals.
Section: Food Quality and Functionality
2 A.A. Memon et al.
with DPPH free radical scavenging and total polyphenols as-
say by Folin-Ciocalteu procedures being the two most com-
monly used [Memon et al., 2010; Kredy et al., 2010]. Phenolic
phytochemicals are major contributors to antioxidant activ-
ity of fruits and over 8,000 different phenolic phytochemicals
have been documented in the literature [Luthria, 2006a]. Phe-
nolic compounds are classifi ed as: phenolic acids (derivatives
of benzoic and cinnamic acid), fl avonoids (fl avones, fl avo-
nols, fl avanones, fl avanols, anthocyanidins), tannins (gallic
acid, catechin, or epicatechin polymers), and a miscellaneous
group which comprises lignans, lignins, coumarins, stilbenes,
and other phenolic compounds not included in these sub-
groups [Luthria, 2006b]. Phenolic acids and fl avonoids have
gained more attention in comparison to other phytochemicals
due to numerous reports in recent literature on their health
benefi cial properties [Balasundram et al., 2006].
Seeds of Z. mauritiana L. have not been investigated for
their composition in detail but in monograph by ICUC they
are reported for their medicinal uses. The dicot seed of Z.
mauritiana L. is covered in hard core, the seeds looking like
Objectives of the current study are; (1) to update earlier re-
ported procedure for assaying phenolic acids and fl avonoids
in the fruit samples of Z. mauritaina L. simultaneously; (2) to
evaluate the composition of fruit in terms of total phenolics,
fatty acids, sugars, and antioxidant activity; and (3) to char-
acterise seed oil extracts for fatty acids and unsaponifi ables.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Chemicals and reagents
All standards of phenolic acids and fl avonoids were pur-
chased from Tokyo Chemical Industry Ltd. (Japan). DPPH
(MP Biomedicals Inc., Illkrich, France), Folin-Ciocalteu (Flu-
ka, Steinheim, Switzerland), and sodium carbonate (Merck,
Germany) were also purchased. BSTFA (bis-(trimethylsilyl)
trifl uoroacetamide) was bought from Arcos Organics, New
Jersey, USA. Methanol (HPLC grade), ethanol, acetonitrile,
ethyl acetate, and formic acid were purchased from Fischer
Scientifi c (Leicestershire, UK). All chemicals were used as
The fruit of Z. mauritiana L. was collected from Matiari,
Sindh, Pakistan, in the month of February 2010. The spe-
cies was confi rmed by the Department of Plant Protection,
Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Sindh, Pakistan,
and the plant was identifi ed as a Gola Lemai variety of Z.
mauritiana L. Fruit samples were stored at 4oC immediately
after collection for not more than two days. Pericarp was then
separated from the seed and frozen below -4oC. Separated
seeds were taken out of the shell, ground in a mortar and pes-
tle, and portions were used for oil extraction and analysis.
HPLC analysis of phenolic compounds
Samples were prepared as reported by Lin & Harnly
. Fruit material (5 g fresh plant materials) was extract-
ed with 20 mL of methanol:water (60:40, v/v) using sonica-
tion (Model No. SC 121 TH, Sonicor Instrument Corp., Co-
piague, NY, USA) for 60 min at room temperature (<35oC
at the end). The extract was fi ltered through a 0.45 μm Nylon
membrane 13 mm fi lter (Micropore, San Diego, CA). In or-
der to avoid error from unexpected degradation of the pheno-
lics, the LC determinations were completed in less than 24 h
after the extracts were prepared. In addition fruit extracts were
subjected to acid hydrolysis according to Lin & Harnly 
to identify aglycones.
Phenolic compound analysis was carried out in a Spectra
system SCM 1000 (ThermoFinnigan, California, USA) liquid
chromatograph equipped with a vacuum degasser and a DAD
system. A Hypersil Gold C-18 (250 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 µm)
column (Thermo Corporation, USA) was used for separa-
tion. The mobile phase composed of A (0.1% aqueous formic
acid) and B (methanol) run with a gradient elution of 5%-25%
B for 10 min, 28–32% B from 10–23 min, 32–25% B from
23–35 min, 25–48% B from 35–50 min, and 48–70% B from
50–90 min at a fl ow rate of 0.7 mL/min with the injection vol-
ume of 20 µL. DAD detection range was set from 200–700 nm
and detection windows were set at 270, 320 and 254 nm.
The software used for data acquisition and evaluation was
Chromquest, Version 4.2. Identifi cation of phenolic com-
pounds was based on retention time and UV spectrum com-
parison with those of the standards. Quantifi cation was car-
ried out at 270 nm for all phenolic compounds.
The DPPH radical-scavenging ability of fruit extracts
The assay of DPPH radical-scavenging potential was car-
ried out according to the method reported by Rubens &Wag-
ner  with some modifi cations. Briefl y, 2 mL of 0.1 mmol
DPPH in methanol solution was added to 2 mL of plant extract
(extracted by stirring) and then the mixture solution was placed
in the dark for 30 min. The quercetin standards (1–10 μmol)
were treated in a similar way and used as standard references
to measure the scavenging potential of the sample. The ab-
sorbance was measured (Perkin Elmer lambda 35, UV/VIS
Spectrophotometer) at 517 nm from 0–30 min with different
time intervals. The absorbance after 30 min became constant
and was used to construct a calibration graph. The amount
equivalent to quercetin was calculated from the calibration
graph using the equation of the straight line
y = -0.0395 μmol + 0.4778 (R2= 0.9935)
and the expression for concentration was converted to
μmol/100 g (quercetin equivalent) of the sample.
Determination of total phenolics by Folin-Ciocalteu
The total phenolic content of Ziziphus mauritiana L.
fruit was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu (FC) reagent
method [Iqbal, et al., 2005]. The reaction mixture contained
200 µL of diluted sample extracts, 800 µL of freshly prepared
diluted FC reagent and 2 mL of 7.5% sodium carbonate.
The fi nal mixture was made-up to 7 mL with deionized wa-
ter. Mixtures were kept in the dark at ambient temperature for
Phenolic Compounds and Seed Oil Composition of Ziziphus mauritiana L. Fruit
2 h to complete the reaction. The absorbance at 765 nm was
measured on a Perkin Elmer lambda 35, UV/VIS Spectropho-
tometer, with 1 cm cells. Gallic acid was used as a standard,
the amount of phenolic compounds was calculated from
the calibration graph
y = 0.0031 ppm + 0.0802 (R2= 0.998)
and results were calculated as gallic acid equivalents
(mmol/100 g) of ber fruit sample. The reaction was conduct-
ed in triplicate and results were averaged.
Silyl derivatives of fruit extract
Dried fruit sample (200 mg) was extracted with 20 mL
of 60% methanol using sonication, for 30 min, then fi ltered
and evaporated to nearly 1 mL under a gentle stream of nitro-
gen. The liquid was transferred to a gas chromatography vial
(nearly 3 mL volume) and the extract was brought to complete
dryness under a nitrogen environment. To this end, 500 μL
of BSTFA were added, and the vial was capped and the mix-
ture was allowed to react at 70°C for 15 min. The resulting
solution was used for gas chromatographic analysis.
GC-MS of silyl derivatives
The GC-MS analysis of silyl derivatives was performed
on an Agilent 6890 N gas chromatography instrument
coupled with an Agilent MS-5975 inert XL mass selec-
tive detector and an Agilent autosampler 7683-B injector
(Agilent Technologies, Little Fall, NY, USA). A capillary
column HP-5MS (5% phenyl methylsiloxane) with dimen-
sions of 30 m x 0.25 mm i.d x 0.25 micron fi lm thickness
(Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA, USA) was used for
the separation. The sample was injected at an injector tem-
perature of 300°C. The column oven was set at an initial
temperature of 100°C for 5 min, ramped to 310°C at 5°C
/ min, and then maintained for 8 min. Split injection mode
was used at 1:20, and helium was used as a carrier gas with
a fl ow rate of 0.7 mL/min. The mass spectrometer was oper-
ated in the electron impact (EI) mode of 70 eV, ion source
temperature of 230°C, quadrupole temperature of 150°C,
translating line temperature of 270°C, and Em voltage
1076 V while the mass scan ranged from 50–800 m/z. The si-
lyl derivatives were identifi ed and authenticated using their
MS spectra compared to those from the Agilent 1036A mass
spectral library. The quantifi cation was done by Chemstation
data handling software from Agilent-Technologies.
Seeds of Ziziphus mauritiana L. (50 g) were ground
and extracted with a Soxhlet apparatus. The extraction was
carried out in a boiling hot water bath for 5–6 h with 0.5 L
of n-hexane. The solvent was distilled off under a vacuum
in a rotary evaporator at 80°C. The oil was then transferred
to a desiccator and allowed to cool before being weighed.
The drying, cooling, and weighing was repeated until a con-
stant dry weight within ±0.01 g was obtained. The result was
expressed as the percentage of oil extracted from dried seed
powder. The extracted oil sample was stored below 5°C under
a nitrogen atmosphere for further analysis.
Fatty acid composition of oil
Fatty acid composition was determined by gas liquid
chromatography after derivatization to methyl esters ac-
cording to the IUPAC standard method [Paquot, 1992].
The analysis of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) was car-
ried out using an Agilent GC-MS as described in the pre-
vious section and a methyl lignocerate coated polar cap-
illary column SP-2340 (60m × 0.25 mm) with 0.2 µm fi lm
thickness from Supelco (Bellefonte, PA, USA). Helium was
used as a carrier gas at a fl ow rate of 1.2 mL/min. Column
conditions were as follows: initial oven temperature, 130°C;
ramp rate, 4°C/ min; fi nal temperature, 220°C; injector tem-
perature, 260°C; detector temperature, 270°C. A sample
volume of 1.0 μL was injected with the split ratio of 1:40.
FAMEs were identifi ed using the Agilent 1036A (NIST mo-
lecular structure) library. The FA composition was reported
as a relative percentage of the total peak area.
Analysis of sterol from unsaponifi ed fraction of oil
Extraction and separation of total sterols (ST) was per-
formed after saponifi cation of the oil sample without de-
rivatization according to the method of Ramadan & Morsel
. Oil (250 mg) was refl uxed with 5 mL of ethanolic
potassium hydroxide solution (6% w/v) and few anti-bump-
ing granules for 60 min. The unsaponifi able fraction was
extracted three times with 10 mL of petroleum ether; the ex-
tracts were combined and washed three times with 10 mL
of neutral ethanol/water (1:1 v/v), and then dried overnight
with anhydrous sodium sulphate. The extract was evapo-
rated in a rotary evaporator at 25°C under reduced pres-
sure, and then the solvent was completely evaporated under
a nitrogen atmosphere and reconstituted with hexane for
injection into GC-MS.
GC-MS conditions for sterol analysis
The GC-MS analysis of sterol was performed with an
Agilent GC-MS system as described in the above section.
A capillary column HP-5MS (5% phenyl methylsiloxane)
with dimensions of 30 m x 0.25 mm i.d x 0.25 micron fi lm
thickness (Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA, USA) was
used. The sample was injected at the injector temperature
of 280°C. The initial temperature of 150°C was ramped
to 250°C at 15°C / min and maintained for 2 min, raised
to 310°C at the rate of 15°C /min, and kept at 310°C for
10 min. The split ratio was 1:50, and helium was used as
a carrier gas with a fl ow rate of 1.2 mL/min. Peaks were
identifi ed and authenticated using their MS spectra com-
pared to those from the Agilent 1036A (NIST molecular
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Ber fruit analysis
Total phenolic and antioxidant activity of ber extracts
Total phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity were
assayed by FC-reagent and a DPPH free radical scavenging
assay procedure. The ber fruit contains 12.8 mg/g phenolic
compounds as gallic acid equivalents and 0.5 μmol/g antioxi-
dant activity as quercetin equivalents.
4 A.A. Memon et al.
Phenolic compounds extracted and identifi ed in ber samples
A standard mixture of ten phenolic acids (gallic acid,
vanillic acid, m-coumaric acid, ferrulic acid, protocatechuic
acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-
coumaric acid, and o-coumaric acid), nine fl avonoids (myrici-
tin, rutin, morin, diosmin, quercetin, naringenin, kaempferol,
chrysin, and 5-hydroxyfl avone), and three catechins (catechin
hydrate, epigallocatechingallate, and epicatechin) were used
to optimize separation conditions on a C-18 Thermo gold
column with a fl ow rate of 0.7 mL/min.
Various mobile phase compositions using methanol (B)
and 0.1% formic acid (A) were tried to separate all com-
pounds mentioned above in single run. The gradient pro-
gramming of 0–22.5 min 10–28% B, 22.5–28.8 min 28–30%
B, 28.8–60 min 30% B, 60–90 min 30–70% B, 90–100 min
70–10% B was found to separate most of the compounds but
o-coumaric acid and myricetin could not be separated with
severe overlapping. To increase the retention of myricetin
which is relatively hydrophobic, reverse-gradient was em-
ployed after 32 min followed by forward gradient to reduce
the overall run time. Using forward-reverse-forward gradient
system, the best resolution was achieved with a mobile phase
composed of A (0.1% aqueous formic acid) and B (methanol)
and a gradient elution of 5%-25% B for 10 min, 28–32% B
from 10–23 min, 32–25% B from 23–35 min, 25–48% B from
35–50 min, and 48–70% B from 50–90 min. Figure 1 shows
the resolved peaks of all standards included in the study with
coelution of epigallocatechingallate and caffeic acid. These
two compounds could be discriminated by their UV spectral
characteristics. The names of the compounds with their reten-
tion times are given in Table 1.
The identifi cation of phenolic compounds from the ber
sample was based on the comparison of retention times
and UV spectra (Table 2). The quantifi cation of p-hydroxy-
benzoic acid, p and o-coumaric acid, vanillin, ferulic acid
TABLE 1. Retention time and UV spectral characteristics of selected phe-
nolic standards separated by HPLC analysis using diode-array detection.
Gallic acid 271, 227
Catechin hydrate14.3234, 279
Protocatechuic acid15.8259, 294, 222
p-Hydroxybenzoic acid 15.8255
Chlorogenic acid 16.2324, 241
Caffeic acid 17.4 306, 222
Epicatechingallate 18.4276, 233
Vanillin 19.6 281, 308, 230
p-Coumaric acid22.2309, 234
Ferrullic acid24.1 323, 240
m-Coumaric acid26.8278, 233
Rutin29.3 256, 354
o-Coumaric acid 32.9277, 324, 233
Myricetin34.9 371, 253
Morin 48.3252, 353
Quercetin53.7 257, 370
Naringenin 55.5288, 235
Kaempferol 60.2366, 265
Chrysin74.6 267, 314
5-Hydroxyfl avone 85.5275, 239
FIGURE 1. A HPLC chromatogram showing separation of twenty two
standard phenolic compounds.
FIGURE 2. A typical HPLC chromatogram of phenolic compounds ex-
tracted by ultrasonic irradiation from ber fruit.
Phenolic Compounds and Seed Oil Composition of Ziziphus mauritiana L. Fruit
and naringenin was achieved by calibration with purifi ed
standards (Table 2). Vanillin (773 µg/g dry matter basis
(DMB)) and p-coumaric acid (699 µg/g DMB) were the two
abundant phenolic compounds extracted from the ber sample
with ultrasonication. The yield of the other fl avonoids varied
between 20 and 621 µg/g DMB. The compounds eluting at
retention time 9.47 and 12.07 were tentatively identifi ed as
naringenin glycoside and a protocatechuic acid isomer based
on their UV spectral resemblances (Figure 2). In current study
o-coumaric acid, naringenin glycoside and naringenin were
additionally identifi ed as compared to a previous study [Mu-
chuweti et al., 2005].
Silyl derivatives of fruit extract
Bis(trimethylsilyl)trifl uoroacetamide (BSTFA) was used
to prepare trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivatives of organic com-
pounds. GC-MS analysis of the TMS derivatives showed
the presence of carboxylic acids (propanoic to octadeca-
noic acid), benzoic acid, hexose sugars, and β-sitosterol
in the crude extract of Ziziphus mauritiana L. fruit (Table 3).
Hexadecanoic acid, D-ribofuranose, and β-sitosterol were
identifi ed as a prominent fatty acid, sugar, and sterol respec-
tively, in ber fruit extract (Figure 3).
TABLE 2. Analysis of polyphenols from ber samples extracted by ultra-
Identifi cation (Amount
in mg/g dry weight)
9.5288, 231narigenin glycoside
12.1 259, 293protocatechuic acid isomer
15.8255 p-hydroxybenzoic acid (83.0)
19.6280, 309 vanillin (773)
22.2 308, 234 p-comaric acid (699.2)
24.1323, 241ferrulic acid (621.6)
33.0 276, 324o-coumaric acid (131.2)
55.5289, 231naringenin (20.4)
* ni – not identifi ed
TABLE 3. GC-MS analysis of trimethylsilyl derivative of organic com-
pounds extracted from ber fruits.
Name of compound *Relative percentage
5.241 Hexanoic acid 6.2
10.071Octanoic acid 6.3
13.206 Nonanoic acid3.3
15.767Decanoic acid 1.8
20.482Dodecanoic acid 0.7
28.548Hexadecanoic acid 16.3
9.801 Benzoic acid1.1
18.190 Trihydroxybutyric acid0.2
24.245 D-ribofuranose 6.3
26.213Gluconic acid 0.8
* The relative percentages are expressed as percentage of total identifi ed
and unidentifi ed components (unidentifi ed components are not men-
FIGURE 3. GC-MS analysis of trimethylsilyl derivative of organic compounds extracted from ber fruits.
6 A.A. Memon et al.
Ber seed oil analysis
Crude fat extraction and analysis from seed oil of ber samples
The crude fat content of the ground seeds of Ziziphus
mauritiana L. was determined by Soxhlet extraction with
hexane as 38.6%. The fatty acid composition of the crude
fat was assayed by saponifi cation of crude fat followed
by preparation of their methyl esters. The fatty acid methyl
esters (FAMEs) were assayed by GC-MS. The fatty acid
profi le of the ber oil is shown in Figure 4. The identifi ca-
tion of the individual fatty acid methyl esters was carried
out by spectral library comparison and by the mass spectral
fragmentation pattern as hexadecanoic acid (7.2%), octa-
decanoic acid (6.9%), 7-octadecenoic (55.2%), 9,12-octa-
decenoic acid (25.3%), eicosanoic acid (2.1%), 11-eicose-
noic acid (1.9%), and docosanoic acid (1.5%) (Table 4).
The ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids was cal-
culated by dividing total of saturated with unsaturated
fatty acids percentage and was found to be 5.3. Olive oil
has a similar unsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio (4.7)
and a higher percentage of 9-octadecenoic acid (77%). Thus
ber seed oil may have signifi cant promise for nutraceutical
and pharmaceutical industries.
Analysis of unsaponifi ed fraction of seed oil by GC-MS
The unsaponifi able fraction of seed oil showed fi ve ma-
jor compounds that were identifi ed by GC-MS analysis (Fig-
ure 5) as: three sterols, γ-tocopherol (vitamin-E), and a hy-
drocarbon (squalene). Stigmasterol was a major component
constituting 23.58% of total unsaponifi able compounds
(Table 5). The results for sterols analysis are quite different
from other oils as Z. mauritina L. seed oil showed the pres-
ence of stigmasterol in signifi cant amounts while other veg-
etable oils normally contain sitosterol as a major sterol [Phil-
lips et al., 2002]. The composition of unsaponifi able fraction
resembles olive oil in hydrocarbon content which is also rich
in squalene [Cert et al., 2000]. The oil seed is also unique due
to the presence of γ-tocopherol only, while other oils com-
monly contain α-tocopherol as a major tocopherol. The ex-
ception is pumpkin seed oil in which γ-tocopherol is a major
tocopherol [Stevenson et al., 2007].
Tocopherols sterols and monounsaturated fat are of nu-
tritional and medicinal importance, which often tends to in-
crease the commercial value of natural oils [Reichert, 2002;
Arain et al., 2010].
TABLE 4. The identifi cation of the individual fatty acid methyl esters
from saponifi ed fraction of seed oil by GC-MS analysis.
FAMEs* % of TAMEs^
Hexadecanoic acid 7.2
13.3 Octadecanoic acid6.9
14.17- Octadecenoic acid 55.2
15.29, 12- Octadecenoic acid 25.3
15.6Eicosanoic acid 2.1
16.411-Eicosanoic acid 1.9
18.2 Docosanoic acid1.5
* FAMEs=fatty acid methyl esters; ^TAMEs= total assayed fatty acid
TABLE 5. Five major organic compounds from unsaponifi ed fraction
of seed oil by GC-MS analysis.
tR(min) Compounds% of TUC*
5.9 gamma-tocopherol 4.3
8.3DELTA 4- sitosterol-3-one 6.8
* TUC=total unsaponifi ed compounds.
FIGURE 4. GC-MS analysis of fatty acid methyl methylesters extracted
from ber seed oil by Soxhlet procedure.
FIGURE 5. GC-MS chromatogram of unsaponifi ed fraction of seed-oil
extracted from ber fruit.
Phenolic Compounds and Seed Oil Composition of Ziziphus mauritiana L. Fruit
Ber fruit is rich in phenolic phytochemicals, with nar-
ingenin as a major fl avonoid and p-coumaric acids as pre-
dominant phenolic acids. Besides sugars and fatty acids,
β-sitosterol was also identifi ed in the edible fruit portion.
Seeds of Z. mauritiana L. contain signifi cant quantity of oil,
which is rich in monounsaturated fat, with unique minor
components like γ-tocopherol and stigmasterol. Thus ber fruit
and seed oil shows signifi cant promise for alternative source
of phytochemicals of nutritional and medicinal importance.
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Received December 2010. Revision received and accepted April
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