Malaysian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Vol 10, No 1 (2014)

Extraction of Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) Seed Oil Using Soxhlet Method

S.H. Mohd-Setapar, Lee Nian-Yian, N.S. Mohd-Sharif

Abstract


Soxhlet extraction which is also known as solvent extraction refers to the preferential dissolution of oil by contacting oilseeds with a liquid solvent. This is the most efficient method to recover oil from oilseeds, thus solvent extraction using hexane has been commercialized as a standard practice in today’s industry. In this study, soxhlet extraction had been used to extract the rubber seed oil which contains high percentage of alpha-linolenic acid. In addition, the different solvents will be used for the extraction of rubber seed oil such as petroleum ether, n-hexane, ethanol and water to study the best solvent to extract the rubber seed oil so the maximum oil yield can be obtained. On the other hands, the natural resource, rubber belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae, the genus is Hevea while the species of rubber is brasiliensis. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) seeds are abundant and wasted because they had not been used in any industry or applications in daily life. The oil of rubber seeds had been found that contained a significant percentage of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Alpha-linolenic acid is one of the important elements of omega-3 fatty acids which play important roles in human metabolism, not only playing structural roles in phospholipid bilayers but also acting as precursors to bioactive molecules. Moreover, rubber seed oil also contains a high percentage of oleic acid and linoleic acid, these all are valuable compounds. Thus, rubber seed oil can be regarded as a plant derived oleic-linolenic acid. Rubber seeds can be considered as good sources for human food, animal feed and biofuel with its high content of fat, protein, amino acids and fatty acids. Therefore, it is important to study the method of extraction to extract the valuable components from rubber seeds, purify the extracted seed oil, so that the rubber seeds oil can be utilized into difference industries pharmaceutical, food, oleochemical and cosmetics.

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