Variability in coconut cultivars for lipid and fatty acid composition of oil. (34)

S. Naresh Kumar, B. Champakam, V. Rajagopal


Eighteen cultivars of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) were screened for oil quality for specific industrial purposes and from a human health point of view. The cultivars included local tails, released and promising hybrids, and geographically distinct cultivars. The per cent oil concentration varied from 64-70% among the cultivars. The neutral lipids formed the major fraction (about 94%), followed by the glycolipids (3.5%) and phospholipids (2.5%) and the concentration varied with cultivar. In general, hybrids had lower concentrations of neutral lipids (90-94%), while they were greater in tails. However, the glycolipid fraction in general was higher in the hybrids. The hybrids had lower concentrations of saturated fatty acids and correspondingly low ratios of saturated to unsaturated fatty acid concentrations. The talls had higher values for these parameters, but in cv. WCT, the ratio was lower. The saturated fatty acid concentration correlated negatively with the concentrations of glyco- and phospho-lipids, whereas it correlated positively with that of the neutral lipids. A predominant presence of unsaturated fatty acids among glyco- and phospho-lipids was evident from the study. The results indicated the presence of variability in coconut germplasm for fatty acid composition of oil indicating the possibility of further improvement by breeding for oil quality for specific uses.


Coconut; Oil quality; Fatty acids; Lipids; Industrial purposes; Cultivar; Variability

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