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Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 57: 165–171, 2002.

© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Proximate composition and selected physicochemical
properties of the seed, pulp and oil of sour sop
(Annona muricata)
Biochemistry Department, Ambrose Alli University, P.M.B. 14 Ekpoma, Edo State, N
Received 16 November 1999; accepted in revised form 18 February 2001
Abstract. Proximate composition and physicochemical analyses were carried out on
the seed,
pulp and extracted oil of sour sop (Annona muricata). The results showed that th
e seed contained
8.5% moisture, 2.4% crude protein, 13.6% ash, 8.0% crude fiber, 20.5% fat and 47
carbohydrate. The seed also contained 0.2% water soluble ash, 0.79% titratable a
cidity and
17.0 mg calcium/100 g. The pulp was found to contain 81% moisture, 3.43% titrata
ble acidity
and 24.5% non-reducing sugar. Selected physicochemical characteristics included
indices of 1.335 for the seed and 1.356 for the pulp, specific gravities of 1.25
0 for the seed
and 1.023 for the pulp, pH values of 8.34 for the seed and 4.56 for the pulp, an
d soluble solids
contents of 1.5 ◦Brix for the seed and 15 ◦Brix for the pulp. The extracted oil (20.
5% yield)
had a 60.43% unsaponifiable value, 23.54 KOH/g acid value, 100.98 KOH/g saponifi
value, 1.1 KOH/g peroxide value, 1.464 refractive index, 5.77 pH, 69.5 ◦Brix soslu
ble solids
and 0.2900 specific gravity.
Key words: Annona muricata, Oil yield, Physicochemical properties, Proximate com
Sour sop
Annona muricata is commonly known as ‘chop-chop’ in Edo state Nigeria,
which is a corrupted form of the English name sour sop. It is foreign to some
parts of Nigeria. It is, however, found in the rain forest and derived savannah
zone in Nigeria either domesticated or growing wild. The fully mature fruit
is green or light greenish yellow. The ripe, mature fruit is soft to the touch;
ripeness is better detected by touch than by color. The outside of the fruit is
thorny while the pulp is white and juicy with brownish seeds.
Previous research on Annona muricata has focused on the bark of the tree
and roots for pharmaceutical purposes [1]. Little attention has been paid to
using the seeds for food purposes nor has any attempt been made to extract
oil from the seeds. This study was, therefore, conducted to determine selected
nutritional and physicochemical properties of the seeds, pulp and oil extracted
from the seeds of sour sop.
Materials and methods
Collection and preparation of samples. Fresh fruits (∼1 kg) of Annona
muricata were bought from Karmo market, Abuja. Using a kitchen knife,
the outside was removed. The seeds were separated from the pulp manually.
A clean white cotton cloth was used to squeeze the pulp to separate it
from the fibrous components. The seed coats (testa) were removed using a
laboratory pestle and mortar. The decorticated seeds were milled (Premier
Mill A1) and sieved through 0.44 mm diameter sieve. The seed flour was
oven-dried (Gallenkamp, UK) at 60 ◦C for 6 hours and separated into two
equal halves of about 200 g each. The first portion was used for oil extraction
while the second was used for proximate analysis. The pulp containing some
liquid syrup was stored in the refrigerator at 1 ◦C for 4 days pending chemical
analysis. The oil was extracted from the seed flour using petroleum ether in
a Soxhlet apparatus (AOAC, method 14.089) [23]. The flour and extracted
oil were stored at room temperature (28 2 ◦C) in sealed cellophane bags
pending chemical analyses.
Determination of proximate composition. Moisture was determined by oven
(Gallenkamp, UK) drying at 105 ◦C to constant weight. Total ash, protein
(N × 6.25), fiber and fat (solvent extraction) were determined by the AOAC
[2] methods 14.085, 14.086, 14.087 and 14.089, respectively. Carbohydrate
was determined by difference. Calcium was determined by the EDTA titration
method [3]. Water soluble ash was determined by the method described
by Pearson [3]. All analyses were carried out in triplicate and the averages
Determination of physicochemical properties. Titratable acidity, total soluble
solids (◦Brix) and non-reducing sugars (as sucrose in solution) were
determined by standard methods [3]. Titratable acidity was determined by
titrating dilute samples of the seed flour and pulp with 0.1 M NaOH to the
phenolphthalein end point. Total soluble solids were estimated with the Abbe
hand refractometer (RG 701, Officine Gallileo, Italy) while the non-reducing
sugar was determined by the Lane and Eynon methods described by Pearson
[3]. Specific gravity was estimated using a 25 ml specific gravity bottle at
20 ◦C as described by Pomeranz & Meloan [4]. Refractive index was determined
by an Abbe refractometer (Model RG 701, Officine Galileo, Italy). pH
was determined using a pH meter (Troptronic Milano, Italy) at 20 ◦C.
Table 1. Proximate composition of the pulp and seed of Annona
Parameter1 Pulp Seed flour
Moisture content (%) 81.0 0.72a 8.5 0.61b
Total ash (%) 0.5 0.4c 13.5 0.6d
Crude fat (%) ND2 20.5 0.81
Crude fiber (%) ND2 8.0 0.52
Crude protein(%) 0.9 0.5e 2.4 0.42f
Carbohydrate (by difference; %) ND2 47.1 0.33
Water soluble ash (as K2 CO3; %) ND2 0.2 0.45
Calcium (mg/100 g) ND2 17.0 0.33
1 All determinations were done in triplicate and the means SD values
2 ND = Not determined.
Means with the same alphabet superscript within a row are not
significantly different (p > 0.05).
Characterization of oil. Extracted oil was characterized. Saponification value,
unsaponifiable value, odor, peroxide value and acid value were determined as
described by Pearson [3]. These values were compared with literature values
of soybean oil and beniseed oil. The color was determined by comparison
with standard lovibond glasses as also described by Pearson [3].
Statistical analysis. Data were subjected to Student’s t-test [16] to determine
the significance of differences between means of seed flour and pulp
samples. Significance was accepted at p≤0.05.
Results and discussion
The proximate composition of the seed flour is shown in Table 1. The crude
protein was very low (2.4%) when compared to leguminous plants such as
groundnut (21.14%) [5], pigeon pea (23.8%) [5], cowpea (24.14%) [5], bambara
groundnut (17.5–21.2%) [6] but was higher than that reported for cassava
flour (1.3%) [7] and sweet potato flour (2.1%) [14]. The relatively low
moisture content indicates that, when dried, the flour prepared from Annona
muricata seeds should have good keeping quality without encouraging the
growth of molds. The crude fat content was relatively high (20.5%), placing
the seeds in the group of oil seeds although the fat content was lower than
reported for soybeans (21.0%) [17] and for beniseeds (48.2%) [8]. The ash
Table 2. Selected physicochemical properties of the pulp and seed flour of
Annona muricata
Parameter 1 Pulp Seed flour
Refractive index 1.356 0.01a 1.335 0.01a
Specific gravity 1.023 0.02b 1.250 0.03c
pH 4.56 0.2a 8.34 0.4b
Soluble solids (◦ Brix) 15.00 0.3e 1.50 0.4d
Non-reducing sugar (% sucrose) ND2 24.5 0.12
Titratable acidity (%) 0.79 0.03c 3.43 0.24d
1 All parameters were determined in triplicate and mean SD values
2 ND = Not determined.
Mean with the same alphabet superscript within a row are not significantly
different (p > 0.05).
content of the seed flour was relatively high (13.5%) compared to that reported
for groundnut (3.78%) [5], lima beans (4.0–5.0%) [6], velvet tamarind
(3.3%) [9], and full-fat fluted pumpkin seeds (4.0%) [10]. The crude fiber
content (8%) for the seed flour was moderate compared to that of Cola milinii
(16.6%) [11]. The carbohydrate content of the seed flour was relatively high
(47%). The high fat and high carbohydrate contents make the flour of sour
sop a good source of energy.
The proximate composition of the pulp of sour sop is also shown in Table 1.
Moisture content was very high (81%) compared to that reported for the
pulp of Vitex doniana (18.6%) [18], but lower than that reported for African
bush mango (90.%) [15]. Protein content (0.9%) was higher than reported
for African bush mango juice (0.52%) [15], mango juice (0.5%) [19], Vitex
doniana (0.8%) [18], but lower than that obtained for cashew pulp (2.92%)
[20] and pineapple pulp (1.5%) [21]. The ash content of the pulp was 0.5%
which is comparable to that reported for African bush mango (0.5%) [15] but
lower than that reported for Vitex doniana pulp (1.4%) [18].
The physicochemical analyses are shown in Table 2. Total soluble solids
were 15.0◦ Brix for the pulp and 1.5◦ Brix for the seed flour, indicating that
the pulp contained a considerable amount of sugar while the sugar content of
the seed was negligible. The refractive index was 1.356 and specific gravity
was 1.023 for the pulp. The refractive index of the seed was 1.335 while
the specific gravity was 1.250. Values for refractive index agree with those
recommended by Pearson [3] and Lewis [12] for sweetening agents. The pH
value of 4.56 for the pulp indicates that it is fairly acidic, similar to the pH
values reported for Vitex doniana syrup (4.45) and pulp (4.38) by Egbekun
Table 3. Comparison of characteristics of Annona muricata, soybean and beniseed
Parameter Annona muricata Soybean1 Beniseed2
Color pure yellow pale yellow pure yellow
Odor repugnant odorless odorless
Specific gravity 0.922 0.922 0.916
Refractive index 1.464 1.465 1.474
Acid value (KOH/g) 23.56 0.60 9.86
Saponification value (KOH/g) 100.84 246.25 223.84
Unsaponifiable matter (%) 60.46 – –
Peroxide value (mg/kg) 1.1 – 6.6
1 British Pharmacopeia [1].
2 Ilesanmi et al. [13].
[8]. On the other hand, the seed contents were alkaline with a pH of 8.3. The
low pH, which serves as a preservative for the pulp, and the relatively high
sugar concentration indicate that the syrup from the pulp could be used for
wine production [5].
The color of Annona muricata oil was pure yellow and that of soybeans
was pale yellow. Apart from the repugnant odor of Annona muricata oil, character
of the extracted oil were quite close to those of soybean oil. The
refractive index (1.45%) and specific gravity (0.922) of Annona muricata,
are similar to the figures reported for soybean oil [1] and beniseed oil [13].
However, substantial differences were noted between Annona muricata oil
and other seed oils for acid value, saponification value and unsaponifiable
matter (Table 3). The pH of the oil was 5.77 indicating it was slightly acidic.
The peroxide value (1.1) was quite low compared to that reported for beniseed
oil (6.6) [13].
These results indicate that if the oil of Annona muricata was deodorized, it
could be useful as cooking oil. This is an indication that great potential exist
for the use of the seeds of sour sop. Instead of discarding them as waste, they
could be very useful as a source of oil for both domestic and industrial uses
because of the relatively high oil (20.5%) content of the seed flour. Further
studies of this potential should be carried out in this direction. Moreover, in
subsequent work, attempts should be made to produce wine from the pulp of
Annona muricata because of the favorable physicochemical characteristics of
the pulp.
I am very grateful to Miss Blessing Igwe who painstakingly assisted in the
laboratory analyses of the samples.
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