PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND FATTY ACID PROFILE OF SHEA BUTTER AS INFLUENCED BY STORAGE ENVIRONMENTS AND TIME OF SHEA (VITELLARIA PARADOXA C.F.GAERTN.) NUTS IN YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE, NIGERIA
The effects of storage environments (open space and laboratory, under ambient condition) and time (0, 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5 and 9 months) on shea nuts as it affects the quality of shea butter was investigated, from September 2009 to June 2010 at Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola. The experimental set up was a Factorial in Randomized Complete Block Design. The physico-chemical parameters and fatty acid composition determined were oil yield, oil density, refractive index, specific gravity, iodine value, saponification value, unsaponifiable matter, free fatty acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid and palmitic acid. The results showed that storage time significantly (p<0.01) affected oil density, refractive index, specific gravity, saponification value, unsaponifiable matter, free fatty acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid. Storage environments significantly (p<0.01) affected refractive index, iodine value, saponification value, free fatty acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. The interaction between storage time and environments significantly (p<0.01) affected oil density, refractive index, specific gravity, iodine value, saponification value, unsaponifiable matter, free fatty acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and palmitic acid. Based on the parameters measured, storage of nuts for 9 months was found to be promising in terms of oil yield, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, free fatty acids and the saponification value. On the other hand, laboratory storage environment happened to perform very well in terms of oil yield, oil density, free fatty acid, iodine value, linoleic acid and palmitic acid as compared to open space storage environment. It is, therefore, concluded that storage for 9 months and laboratory storage environment were the best storage conditions respectively.
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