This study was carried out to extract oils from cashew shell and its kernel and to characterize the oils; with the view to ascertain their suitability for consumption and other uses. Soxhlet apparatus was used for the extraction using hexane as solvent. The physical and chemical properties of the extracted oil were analyzed. The percentage oil extracted from the shell of the cashew was found to be 25.5% while that extracted from the kernel was 11.8% oil. The results of the physical analysis showed that the cashew kernel oil (CKO) is light yellow while the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) is dark brown. The boiling points for shell and kernel oil were 920c and 950c respectively. The cashew kernel oil is non-toxic and the properties of CNSL conformed, to a greater extent, to that exhibited by linseed oil. This suggests its application in the processing and manufacturing industries. The kernel oil conformed both in its physical and chemical properties to those of groundnut and melon oil and thus could be used in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The cashew tree (Anarcardium Occidentale) is a native of Brazil and the lower Amazons. The cashew has been introduce and is valuable cash crop in the America, the West Indias, Madagascar, India and Malaysia (Frankel 1991). As far back as 1967. Tyman and Morrris, describe the composition of cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL). The economic importance of the special tree is such that while the tree is native to central and south America, it is now widely distributed throughout the tropics, particularly in many, parts of Africa and Asia. The cashew tree will tolerate a wild range of condition including drought and poor soil, but cannot withstand cold forest. The major producing countries of cashew are Tanzania, India, Mosambique, Sirilanka, Kenya, Madagasar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, Malawi and Angola. World bank has estimated that 97% of production is from wild trees and only 3 percent is from established plantation (Rosengarten, 1984). Gibbon etal (1981) reported that many trees are found growing wild and that the plant germinates poorly, those that are cultivated are propagated by seed which are planted at a rate of 2-3 per hole due to poor germination rates. Cashew nut is a high edible nut, it yields two “oils” one of these found between the seed coat (or pericarp) and the nuts is called the cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). It is not a triglyceride and contains a high proportion of phenolic compound. It is used in industry as a raw material for brake ting compounds as a roofing agent, a preservative and in the manufacturing of paints and plastics. It is toxic and corrosing to the skin. Cashew apples are osmo-soldried to produce a data like ceramel.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This project is aimed at the analysis of cashew nut and its oil. The main objective of this study is to carry out proximate analysis and physio-chemical properties of cashew nut oil extracted by solvent methods this physio-chemical properties determines are specific gravity , refractive index, pH value and value peroxide value and saponification value, to achieve the objective of this project, it is important to:
- Select the best suited solvent for optimum yield.
- Characterize the extracted solvent oil for composition and properties
- Test the suitability of the oil.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In this project work, we intend to analyze and extract completely oil from cashew nut. Much research work has been done in giving a detail composition found in cashew nut. But this research account on the optimum route to
- Extraction of oil from cashew nut
- Separation of pure oil from the solvent
- Characterization of the oil from cashew nut
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