Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of brazil, pecan, pine, pistachio and cashew nuts.

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Ryan, E., K. Galvin, T.P. O’Connor, A.R. Maguire, N.M. O’Brien, 2006. Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of brazil, pecan, pine, pistachio and cashew nuts. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 57(3/4):219-228.

 Nuts contain bioactive constituents that elicit cardio-protective effects including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. The objective of the present study was to determine the total oil content, peroxide value, fatty acid composition and levels of tocopherols, squalene and phytosterols in oil extracted from freshly ground brazil, pecan, pine, pistachio and cashew nuts. The total oil content of the nuts ranged from 40.4 to 60.8% (w/w) while the peroxide values ranged from 0.14 to 0.22 mEq O2/kg oil. The most abundant monounsaturated fatty acid was oleic acid (C18:1), while linoleic acid (C18:2) was the most prevalent polyunsaturated fatty acid. The levels of total tocopherols ranged from 60.8 to 291.0 mg/g. Squalene ranged from 39.5 mg/g oil in the pine nut to 1377.8 mg/g oil in the brazil nut. β-Sitosterol was the most prevalent phytosterol, ranging in concentration from 1325.4 to 4685.9 mg/g oil. In conclusion, the present data indicate that nuts are a good dietary source of unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, squalene and phytosterols.