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1.1 Background of StudyIn the major world, one major source of protein and vegetable oil is from oil seeds fruits (Williams M. A. 1996). Oil constitutes a well-defined class of naturally occurring substance. It is greasy, being soluble in organic solvents but insoluble in polar solvents such as water. Oil is a liquid at room temperature. Commercially, oil as well as fats is sourced from certain plant groups mostly seeds and nuts and some parts of animal within which they occur in relatively large quantity in an easily available form (McGraw-Hill, 1997).The existence of oil in certain plants has been known for century of years (Ogbu 2005.Oil can be grouped into edible and non-edible oil depending on the amount of unsaponified matters and impurities contained therein. Edible oil extracted from African pear, bread fruits, cashew nut, peanut etc. are examples of vegetable oil which are naturally occurring esters of higher fatty acids and glycerol, and are predominantly triglycerides with traces of mono and diglycerides, sterples, anti-oxidants, vitamins, saturated and unsaturated free fatty acids and other minor constituents. They are widely distributed in nature and were first consumed as food. Later, oils were discovered to be used as renewable raw materials for variety of non-food production. For instance; soaps, creams, disinfectants, paints, enamels, inks etc.Oil can be extracted from various seeds; however, this work focuses on one particular seeds, (African pear seeds). Extraction can be defined as a separation process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix; The first step in obtaining oil from the seed is to remove the seed-coat and husk in a process referred to as dehulling. i separating the chaff and dried by placing the seeds under the sun or by heating carefully on the fire for a short while. In the case of using crude means to extract the oil, drying can be followed by warming which ensures more oil yield. Once this is done, the next step is to begin the crucial extraction process.These edible oils are consumed in various ways; the liquid form are used for cooking in warmer climate, in the western world, they are eaten in spreadable form,Dacryodes edulis is cultivated in large quantity in South- Eastern Nigeria and other African countries like Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Malaysia, Liberia, and Zaire. There are two varieties of Dacryodes edulis in Nigeria- D.e.var. edulis and D.e.var. parvicarpa (Isaac and Ekpa, 2009). The fruits and seeds of this plant have been found to contain reasonable amounts of oil (Ikhuoria and Maliki, 2007; Arisa and Lazarus, 2008). African pear oil contains the following acids: palmitic acid (9.06%), stearic acid (15.46%), oleic acid (26.63%) and linoleic acid (30.85%) (Ikhuoria and Maliki, 2007) Umoti and Okyi (1987) gave the fatty acid composition and the range of fatty acids in African pear oil as follows: palmitic acid 47.89% (35 – 65%), oleic acid 31.25% (16 – 35%) and linoleic acid 17.5% (14 – 27%). The physicochemical properties of African pear oil determined by Ikhuoria and Maliki (2007) are average melting point (80 0C), refractive index (1.456), viscosity (0.33 poise), free fatty acid (1.100%), saponification value (143.760 mgKOH/g), iodine value (44.079 gI2/100g), acid value (15.280 mgKOH/g), ester value (128.480) and unsaponifiable matter (53.920%). On the other hand, Umoti and Okyi (1987) determined saponification value, iodine value and specific gravity of APO as 201.4 mgKOH/g, 59.6 gI2/100g and 0.9 respectively. Adequate development of this oil could contribute to the nation’s demand for vegetable oils for surface coatings and other industrial applications.Oils are extracted in two primary ways, by mechanical pressing, or heating and with petroleum solvents. Before the 1940’s, mechanical pressing was the primary method used. Mechanical extraction, however, had its limits in terms of oil recovery. Because pressing generates heat and high temperatures which damage both the oil and meal, an oil content of the press cake below 5-6% was difficult to achieve. Solvent extraction was developed because it allows a more complete extraction at lower temperatures. It begins to be economically attractive where large quantities of seed can be processed (at least 200 tons per day for continuous-feed processes); where storage, transportation, power, water, and solvent supply are adequate; and where occupational safety and training standards can be enforced. This work focuses on the extraction of oil from two local seeds using n-hexane in a soxhlet apparatus, determine the physicochemical properties of the oils based on oil content, pour point, specific gravity, viscosity, refractive index, iodine value, acid value and peroxide value. This study was designed to establish the suitability of the oils for domestic and industrial uses.

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