Oils from 4 species of cucurbitacae from Congo (Citrullus lanatus, Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita pepo, Lagenaria siceraria) were studied. The oils are of the linoleic type and have in general more than 50% linoleic acids. (C18:2, essential fatty acid) and more than 70% unsaturated fatty acids. One also finds some palmitoleic acid (C16:1) in Citrullus lanatus and some margaric acid (C17:0) in Lagenaria siceraria. Their high content in linoleic acid may suggest some instability at high temperature. However the evaluation of the alteration of these oils through their physical and chemical characteristics (viscosity, E323, E268, acid index, iodine index) and through the analysis of the fatty acids shows a behavior similar to that of peanut and olive oils. The linoleic acid content which is in all cases less than 2.5% strongly supports the idea of relatively good stability up to 170°C. These oils may be considered as good dressing oil or good oil for low temperature frying.
T. Silou, O. Kissotokene - Ntinou, M. Mvoula Tsieri, J.M. Ouamba, S. Kiakouama.