Short-Term Toxicological Evaluation of AnacardiumOccidentale Oil in Albino Rats

Ibironke A. Ajayi, Olatunde S. Oladeji, Vivian N. Aghanu


Anacardium occidentale L. nut oil was characterized after which 5% of it was incorporated in the feed formulation for albino rats. Two diets were formulated; one of these diets had 5 % A. occidentale oil (test diet) while the other had 5% of groundnut oil as a representative of conventional edible oil (control diet).  Proximate analysis result indicated that the nut comprises of 5.82 ± 0.16% moisture, 25.54 ± 0.25% protein, 6.28 ± 0.02% crude fibre, 42.52 ± 0.45% fat, 2.90 ± 0.09% ash and 16.97 ± 0.84% carbohydrate.  A. occidentale nut was found to be rich in potassium and magnesium.  Physicochemical analysis of cashew nut oil gave 22.03 ± 0.04 mgKOH/g acid value, 22.03 ± 0.40 g/100g iodine value, 1.96 ± 0.23 mgKOH/g free fatty acid, 97.98 ± 0.99 mgKOH/g saponification value, 2.96 ± 0.59 peroxide value and 1.64 ± 0.02 refractive index.  Fatty acid analysis of A. occidentale nut oil showed that it has high level of unsaturation (77.5754%).  This is evident from the values obtained for oleic acid (61.02%), linoleic acid (15.34%) and linolenic acid (0.13%). There was weight gain by the rats during the feeding period of eight weeks and no mortality was recorded. Haematological and biochemical parameters were investigated for in the test and control rats and the results obtained revealed no adverse effect on the rats’ blood.  The cholesterol level in the test and control rat tissues was not significantly different at p<0.05.  The result of the histopathology of some of  the rat tissues showed no visible lesion.  A. occidentale nut oil might be suitable for edible purposes.

Key words:A. occidentale, fatty acid, proximate composition, toxicology

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