Influence of Extraction Temperature on the Quality of Neem Seed Oil: Preliminary Investigation

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John Goji Usman
Paul Chidi Okonkwo
Abdul Baba


The storage of neem oil for a long time before usage comes along with challenge of quality retain ability of the oil; and the extraction methods can affect the quality of neem seed oil. This research work compared the mechanical expression method to the solvent extraction method to find a better method that will give high-grade neem oil for long-term storage. A plant with a capacity of 50 kg/day of neem seed kernel was used to extract oil from neem seed using ethanol as extraction solvent. The increase of extraction temperature from 20 oC (mechanically expressed) to 78 oC leads to decrease of iodine value from 62.70 to 60.10 gI2/100 g; increase of acid value from 3.4 to 4.2 mg KOH/g and increase of saponification value from 158.74 to 210.18 mgKOH/g. The Fames standard method was used for the GC – MS analysis and the percentage composition of the polyunsaturated components in the 20 oC (mechanically expressed), 50 oC, 55 oC, 60 oC and 78 oC oils were 21.58, 6.33, 3.09, 1.83 and 0.21% respectively. The changed of extraction temperature from 20 oC to 78 oC brings about reduction of polyunsaturated components from 21.58% to 0.21%. The increase of extraction temperature leads to conversion of unsaturated components to saturated components due to auto – oxidation process. This is clearly seen as the extraction temperature increased from 20 oC to 78 oC, the percentage composition of the saturated components increased from 22.40% to 43.70% and the polyunsaturated component decreased from 20.47% to 0%. The fatty acid composition associated with the 78 oC oil are: Oleic acid, 46.61%; Stearic acid, 11.83%; Palmitic acid, 16.54%; 11 – Octadecenoic acid, 3.58%; Cis – Vaccenic acid, 5.90%; Cyclopropaneoctanal, 11.19%; Squalene, 0.21% and Trimethylsilyl – di(timethylsiloxy) – silane, 4.14%. The functional groups identified in the 78 oC oil were C – H, C = O, C – C and C – O. Based on the lowest iodine value, lowest percentage composition of the polyunsaturated component value and high percentage composition of saturated component, the neem oil obtained at 78 oC from the miscella is considered as the high grade neem oil because it is less reactive due to lowest percentage composition of polyunsaturated and can be stored for long time before usage. Furthermore, the results from this work will assist manufacturers in selecting the extraction temperature for particular application of the neem seed oil. The extracted oil is recommended for soap production due to its high saponification value.

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How to Cite
J. G. Usman, P. C. Okonkwo, B. Mukhtar, and A. Baba, “Influence of Extraction Temperature on the Quality of Neem Seed Oil: Preliminary Investigation”, AJERD, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 122-130, Mar. 2024.


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