Pak. J. Bot., 44(2): 627-630, 2012.
OIL AND FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF PEANUT CULTIVARS
GROWN IN PAKISTAN
FAYYAZ-UL-HASSAN* AND MUKHTAR AHMED
PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
*Corresponding author’s E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +92-51-9290160
Quality and flavor of edible peanuts and its products are affected by fatty acid composition of oil. The information
related to chemical composition of Peanut grown in the country are scarce, therefore, the present investigation was designed
to determine the oil and fatty acid composition of some commonly grown peanut cultivars in Pakistan. Seven Peanut
cultivars were grown during 2008 in randomized complete block design replicated thrice. The tested cultivars differed
significantly for oil content which ranged from 49.83 to 53.06% on dry weight basis, thus showing differences of 7% among
cultivars. The saturated fatty acids (Palmatic & Stearic acid) in different cultivars ranged between 9.95 to 10.79% and 1.63
to 2.19%, respectively. Differences among cultivars for oleic acid exhibited significance which ranged between 49.34 to
54.83%. Similarly, cultivars differed statistically for linoleic acid which showed a range of 28.99 to 34.23%, thus depicted
difference of 7%. Significant differences among tested cultivars may be attributed to the place of origin of particular
cultivar. An inverse relationship was exhibited between oleic and linoleic acid, similar to other edible oils.
Peanut seeds contain 44-56% oil and 22-30% protein
on a dry seed basis. In addition, they are a good source of
minerals (phosphorus, calcium,
potassium) and vitamins (E, K and B group). Besides
physical (seed mass and shape, integrity of seed testa and
blanching efficiency) and sensory (seed color, texture,
flavor) factors, nutritional (oil, protein contents, fatty acid
and amino acid composition) factors are important in the
food trade. The nutritional and storage qualities of peanut
depend on the relative proportion of saturated and
unsaturated fatty acids in the oil (Savage & Keenan,
1994). However, Win et al., (2011) reported higher
antioxidants in roasted peanuts. A high proportion of
polyunsaturated fatty acid is desirable because it lowers
plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein content,
which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The quality and flavor of edible peanuts and peanut
products can be affected by the fatty acid composition of
the lipid. Although eight major fatty acids are present in
peanuts yet four palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids
make up about 90% of total peanut triacylglycerols
(Ahmed & Young, 1982). Conflicting trends have been
observed for changes in fatty acid profiles as seeds
mature. Strong negative correlation between oleic and
linoleic acids have been reported in peanut (Dwivedi et
al., 1993) and other oilseed crops like brassica (Hassan et
al., 2007) and sunflower (Hassan et al., 2011). However,
differences in climatic conditions results variations in the
oleic/linoleic acid ratio for a given genotype.
The high oleic to linoleic acid ratio characteristic
could confer a significant health advantage to the
consumer and has the potential to greatly enhance the
marketability of peanuts. Nutritional quality of the seed is
strongly influenced by production location, cultivar and
season, particularly soil moisture and temperature during
crop growth and seed maturation. In Pakistan, out of the
total area under peanut, approximately 80% lies in
Pothwar tract which contributes 92% in the total
production of the country (Anon., 2011). The
environmental condition (climate and weather) where it is
grown (Pothwar) varies too much, particularly the pattern,
rainfall distribution/frequency and temperature. Rainfall
in the northern parts of the region ranges between 1000 to
1500 mm while in the southern parts only receives 300-
400 mm of rain annually. Rainfall pattern in the Western
and the Eastern areas (Jhelum & Attock) also varies
between 450-750 mm. Temperature fluctuates similar to
the rainfall pattern particularly during the showers of rains
Fatty acid contents in a genotype are affected by
drought stress particularly end of season drought
decreased oil and linoleic acid accumulation (Dwivedi et
al., 1993). Fatty acid composition of peanut seeds from
various maturity classes and varieties have been studied
else where in the world (Anderson et al., 1998). However,
information related to most of the varieties grown in
Pakistan are lacking. The major focus of the breeding
program has been the improvement in yield and yield
related traits. Quantity and quality of oil in term of fatty
acid has rarely been studied. With the introduction of
WTO regime, it shall not be possible to trade any
commodity without all its information. Keeping in view
the importance of the crop in rainfed areas, the present
study was planned with objective to determine the oil and
fatty acid composition of some commonly grown
cultivars in Pothwar.
Materials and Methods
To investigate oil and fatty acid composition of
peanut cultivars, field experiment was conducted at
PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Research Farm
Chakwal Road, Rawalpindi during 2008, located at
longitude of 33°06’N and latitude 73°00’E, 502 m a.s.l.
The climatic conditions prevailed during crop growth
period is shown in Fig. 1. The particular piece of land was
fallow during winter season. After winter rains field was
plowed with ordinary cultivator.
preparation was done by giving one furrow turning plow
followed by three ordinary plowings along-with planking.
Seven cultivars viz. No. 334, Banki, Chakori, BARI-
2000, BARD-479, SP-96 and SP-2000 were sown in a
FAYYAZ-UL-HASSAN & MUKHTAR AHMED
randomized complete block design with three replications
in a plot size of 5.5 x 2.7 m on 27th March, 2008. In each
plot there were six rows; 45 cm apart each row.
Recommended dose of fertilizer 20:80:40 NPK
incorporated at time of last plowing. Sowing was done by
hand drill using seed rate of 70 kg kernel/hectare. Weeds
were kept under control as and when required by manual
weeding. At maturity samples of one kg kernel from each
treatment were collected from two central rows on 26th
November, 2008. Unshelled samples were sun dried for
one week. Kernels were shelled by hand. The shelled nuts
were again sun dried for two days, thereafter analysed for
oil and fatty acid.
Fig. 1. Climatic conditions of site during peanut growing months.
Oil and fatty acid determination: The shelled nuts from
each treatment were separately analyzed for oil content
with NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance system), Model
MQA-7005, Oxford Institute, USA, by standardizing the
equipment with six different oil contents having the
samples previously analyzed, thus oil content in each
treatment was recorded (Warnsely, 1998). The fatty acids
in oil were analyzed by a gas chromatograph (AIML-
NUCON) after intersterilification with methanolic KOH.
In this method, fatty acids were converted to methyl esters
prior to analysis by Gas Chromatography (GC). Oil
samples (50µL) were methylated in 4ml 1 M KOH for one
hour at room temperature. The resultant fatty acid methyl
esters (FAME) were extracted with High Performance
Liquid Chromatography grade hexane and analyzed by
GC using a fused capillary column (WCOT fused silica
30m x 0.25 mm coating CPWAX 52 CBDF = 0.25 µM,
CP8713, a flame ionization detector (FID) and nitrogen
gas as carrier (3.5 ml/min). GC split ratio was 100%.
Injector and Detector temperatures were 260oC and
column oven temperature was 222oC for 7.5 minutes.
FAMEs were injected manually. Fatty acids were detected
by chromatographic retention time by comparison with
authentic standards (Paquot, 1988). Recorded data were
subjected to standard analysis of variance techniques
using computer program M.Stat C (Freed & Eisensmith,
1986). Differences of means were compared for
significance at 5% probability (Montgomery, 2001).
Results and Discussion
Oil accumulation in Peanut is affected by number of
factors such as temperature, moisture availability,
fertilization and their interaction. In present study, Peanut
cultivars differed statistically for oil content (Table 1).
The maximum oil content (53.06%) observed in SP-96
which remained significantly higher and different from
rest of the tested cultivars. The cultivar No. 334 had the
minimum oil content (49.83%). The significant
differences among different cultivars was attributed to the
genetic make up of a particular cultivar (type bunch or
erect), its place of origin and the environmental
conditions prevailing during the crop life cycle. The end
of season moisture stress has been concluded to decrease
oil content (Dwivedi et al., 1993). The cultivars tested
belonged to diverse origin having different genetic make
up. Higher oil content of SP-96 and SP-2000 was related
to their place of origin i.e., Swat, having a cooler climate
as compared to the production site, thus higher
temperature would have enhanced the oil accumulation.
Higher oil accumulation with increase in temperature is
similar to other oilseed crops (Qadir et al., 2006).
Demurin et al., (2000) found an increase in oil content
with increase in temperature during flowering to maturity
in Sunflower and Maize. They also reported that 1oC rise
in temperature increased oil content by 1% in Sunflower.
Similarly, Kaleem & Hassan (2010) observed variation in
oil content in different circles of sunflower head which
was mainly driven by temperature.
OIL AND FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF PEANUT CULTIVARS GROWN IN PAKISTAN
Table 1. Oil and fatty acid composition of peanut cultivars.
Statistically significant differences were observed
among cultivars for palmatic acid. The maximum
(10.79%) palmatic acid was recorded in Chokari,
significantly higher from rest of the cultivars except those
of Banki and No. 334, those were statistically at par with
each other. The minimum (9.95) palmatic acid was
observed for BARI-2000 (Table 1). The significant
differences for palmatic acid among cultivars was
attributed to the genetic makeup and place of origin of a
particular cultivar. All of the cultivars tested were bred at
diverse centers having divergent temperature and
moisture regimes. A range of 6.3–8.2% of palmatic acid
in Australian cultivars has been reported by Weiss (2000).
Thus, our results were consistent to those reported by
Weiss (2000) and cultivars grown in Pakistan match the
international standard of fatty acids.
Data revealed statistically significant differences
among cultivars for stearic acid (Table 1). The cultivar
SP-2000 accumulated the highest (2.19%) stearic acid
which significantly differed from rest of the cultivars
except Chakroi. Though BARD-479 accumulated the
lowest (1.63%) stearic acid but it was statistically at par
with rest of the cultivars except those at the top.
Significant differences among the cultivars was due to
genetic makeup of the cultivars, their place of origin and
environmental changes taking place during the time of
flowering to maturity (Anderson et al., 1998). Khan
(1997) reported 2% of stearic acid in Peanut seeds which
confirms the findings of present study. Similarly, Weiss
(2000) reported stearic acid range of 4.9-6.2% in
Australian Peanut which is higher than those observed in
present study, thus cultivars grown in Pothwar are
superior to those grown in other parts of the world.
Data presented in Table 1 revealed statistically
significant differences among cultivars for oleic acid
content. The highest (54.83%) value recorded in BARI-
2000 which was statistically at par with SP-2000 but
significantly different from rest of the cultivars. The
lowest (49.34) oleic acid was recorded in SP-96. The
oleic acid recorded in this study was higher than those
reported by Khan (1997) but similar to those reported by
Weiss (2000) who found a range of 52.3-60.1% of oleic
acid in different cultivars commonly grown in Australia,
thus, cultivars grown in Pakistan are of similar qualities of
The accumulation of linoleic acid in different
cultivars showed statistically significant variations (Table
1). The highest (34.23%) linoleic acid was recorded in
SP-96 which was significantly different from rest of the
cultivars. The lowest linoleic acid (28.99%) was recorded
in BARI-2000 which was statistically at par with SP-
2000. The significant differences among cultivars may be
attributed to their genetic make up and the place of their
origin. Weiss, (2000) reported a range of 20-40% linoleic
acid in different cultivars. The type of groundnut (bunch
or erect) of the cultivar is also considered responsible for
variation of linoleic acid. In other oilseed crops such as
Sunflower and Brassica linoleic acid showed inverse
relationship with oleic acid. Similarly, in present study
linoleic acid showed inverse relationship (Fig. 2) with
oleic acid, which is confirmatory to earlier reported by
Dwivedi et al., (1993). It also depicted that peanut oil of
cultivars grown in Pakistan de-saturates to linoleic acid as
in other oilseed crops which is mainly governed by
prevailing temperature at and near maturity.
Fig. 2. Relationship between oleic and linoleic acid.
It may be concluded from present investigation that
peanut cultivars commonly grown in the country match
the international quality standards in terms of oil and fatty
acid composition. Thus, there is no technical barrier to
country’s peanut products to enter into international trade.
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(Received for publication 20 January 2010)