In vitro Antioxidant Potential of Fatty Acids Obtained by Direct Transmethylation from Fresh Cordia sebestena Flowers

Olubunmi Atolani, Oluwatimilehin O. Kayode, Oluwaseeni Adeniyi and Charles B. Adeosun


The determination of fatty acid profile of plant material is often attained via multistep procedures. Recent innovation has made it possible to obtain fatty acids from fresh matrix in a single step. This study was conducted to analyze the fatty acids present in C. sebestena using direct transmethylation in a one-step procedure with methanol:benzene: hexane:aluminium chloride:sulphuric acid (37:20:36:5:2 v/v) as transmethylation reagents and gas chromatography/mass spectrophotometry, GC-MS for quantification. The antioxidant potential of the transmethylation product was also evaluated using DPPH assay. GC-MS revealed the presence of seventeen fatty acids in C. sebestena. Palmitic acid (32.45%), myristic acid (21.49%), cis-oleic acid (9.57%), 13-octadecenoic acid (5.76%) and stearic acid (4.95%) were the major fatty acids while gondoic acid (0.88%) (an omega-9 fatty acid) and other 11 fatty acids (0.11 to 0.96%) constitute the minor components. Non-fatty acids compounds (17.43%) were also present in the obtained product. Yield (3.33% fresh weight) was modest and product had high antioxidant activity suggesting the viability of the method in determining the fatty acid profile of the plant. The procedure saves time and resources that are associated with conventional multistep method. Results obtained showed evidence that Cordia sebestena could be an attractive source of fatty acids that are important natural antioxidants.

Keywords: Antioxidant, Cordia sebestena, Essential fatty acid, FAMEs, GCMS, Transesterification

Annals of Tropical Research 36(2):104-114(2014)
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