Grasas y Aceites, Vol 65, No 3 (2014)

Fatty acid composition and some physicochemical characteristics of Sterculia apetala seed oils

S. Herrera-Meza
Instituto de Investigaciones Psicológicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

A. J. Martínez
Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

M. G. Sánchez-Otero
Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

M. R. Mendoza-López
Unidad de Servicios de Apoyo en Resolución Analítica, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

O. García-Barradas
Unidad de Servicios de Apoyo en Resolución Analítica, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

G. R. Ortiz-Viveros
Instituto de Investigaciones Psicológicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

R. M. Oliart-Ros
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Alimentos, Instituto Tecnológico de Veracruz, Mexico


In the tropical rain forests of southeastern Mexico, the use of Sterculia mexicana and Sterculia apetala seed oils for human and animal nutrition is common. However, the seeds contain cyclopropene fatty acids, whose consumption is related with beneficial as well as detrimental physiological effects. The aim of this study was to determine the fatty acid profile and the physicochemical characteristics of S. apetala seed oil and to evaluate the effect of roasting on both aspects. Cyclopropenoic fatty acids, sterculic acid and malvalic acid were identified in the natural and roasted seed oils. The major component in the seed oil was sterculic acid, as has been reported for Sterculia mexicana and Sterculia foetida. The roasting process modified some physicochemical properties and the fatty acid composition of the seed oil, particularly by decreasing its content of sterculic acid. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the fatty acid composition of S. apetala seed oil.


Cyclopropenoic Fatty Acids; Sterculia apetala; Sterculia mexicana; Sterculic acid

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