D.H. Dwivedi, R.B. Ram
"Chuli," the wild apricot growing abundantly in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh in the Jammu and Kashmir states in India, yields bitter kernels called ”khante” which are utilized primarily for extraction of apricot oil by the aboriginal communities. The oil extracted by traditional methods is used for cooking, religious, and cosmetic purposes and is reported to have medicinal properties. However, no scientific characterization of the oil has been undertaken thus far. Bitter apricot kernels collected from ten villages across the apricot growing belts of Ladakh were analysed for their proximate composition, chemical characteristics, and lipid profile. This study reveals that wide variability exists in the region as far as oil content and composition are concerned. Proximate analysis of the bitter kernels revealed fat content in the bitter kernels to be as high as 54.24%. Protein content was found to vary from 17.75 to 22.56%, carbohydrate from 21.16 to 35.26%, crude fiber from 0.84 to 4.71%, and dietary fiber from 6.03 to 22.24%. Chemical analysis revealed that iodine values varied from 97.93 to 103.85 and saponification values from 189.57 to 191.71. Apricot oil is dominated by the presence of unsaturated fatty acids. The lipid profile shows that oleic acid was the primary fatty acid, and its content varied from 70.52 to 75.99% in the different samples. In addition, linoleic acid (14.13–22.83%), arachidic acid (0.08–0.39%), and ecosenoic acid in small quantities have been found. Stearic acid (0.34–1.22%) has been observed as a component saturated fatty acid, but palmitic acid (3.5–5.04%) and palmitoleic acid (0.56–0.91%) were observed to be present in larger quantities. Thus, wide variability has been found to exist in oil content and its composition in the wild apricot cultivars found growing as stray plantations on the rocky mountains of Ladakh, and the high yielding cultivars could be exploited for commercial extraction of the oil.
Dwivedi, D.H. and Ram, R.B. (2008). CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF BITTER APRICOT KERNELS FROM LADAKH, INDIA. Acta Hortic. 765, 335-338
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.765.44
apricot oil, characterization, Chuli

Acta Horticulturae