Chemical composition and thermal properties of Tunisian pecan nut [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] oils




Pecan nut, Fatty acids, Tocopherols, Triacylglycerols, Xanthophylls, Thermal properties


An investigation on fatty acid, triacylglycerol, tocopherol, and xanthophyll contents and thermal properties of pecan (Carya illinoinensis) kernel oils from two cultivars was carried out. The main fatty acids were oleic acid, followed by linoleic and palmitic acids. The predominant triacylglycerols were OOL, OOO, and OLL (where O stands for oleoyl and L for linoleoyl). Pecan kernel oil is a rich source of tocopherols, mainly γ-tocopherol. Two xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin) were investigated, and lutein was found to be the major one. Thermal behavior was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Pecan nut oil displayed melting and crystallization transitions at low-temperature zones. The difference between DSC parameter values provides a path for distinguishing among cultivars. These data promote pecan kernel oil as a potential source of bioactive compounds with nutraceutical properties (monounsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and xanthophylls) and reveal, for the first time, the thermal properties of Carya illinoinensis oil.


Download data is not yet available.


Al Juhaimi F, Özcan MM, Ghafoor K, Babiker EE, Hussain S. 2018. Comparison of cold-pressing and soxhlet extraction systems for bioactive compounds, antioxidant properties, polyphenols, fatty acids and tocopherols in eight nut oils. J. Food Sci. Technol. 55, 3163-3173.

Atanosov AG, Sabharanjak SM, Zengin G, Mollica A, Szostak A, Simirgiotis M, Huminiecki Ł, Horbanczuk OK, Nabavi SM, Mocan A. 2017. Pecan nuts: A review of reported bioactivities and health effects. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 71, 246-257.

Beltrán SA, Grané TN, Martín CML, Garrigós SMC. 2011. Characterization of almond cultivars by the use of thermal analysis techniques. Application to cultivar authenticity. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 88, 1687-1693.

Bootello MA, Garcés R, Martinez-Force E, Salas JJ. 2016. Effect of the distribution of saturated fatty acids in the melting and cristalization profiles of high-oleic high-stearic oils. Grasas Aceites. 67, 1-7.

Bouabdallah I, Bouali I, Martinez-Force E, Albouchi A, Pérez-Camino MC, Boukhchina S. 2014. Composition of fatty acids, triacylglycerols and polar compounds of different walnut varieties (Juglans regia L.) from Tunisia. Nat. Prod. Res. 28, 1826−1833.

Bouali I, Trabelsi H, Bou Abdallah I, Albouchi A, Martine L, Gregoire S, Bouzaien G, Gandour M, Boukhchina S, Berdeaux O. 2013. Changes in fatty acid, tocopherol and xanthophyll contents during the development of Tunisian-grown pecan nuts. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 90, 1869-1876.

Bouali I, Tsafouros A, Ntanos E, Albouchi A, Boukhchina S, Roussos PA. 2020. Inter-cultivar and temporal variation of phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and carbohydrate composition of pecan (Carya illlinoinensis) kernels grown in Tunisia. Hortic. Environ. Biotechnol. 61, 183-196.

Chambre DR, Tociu M, Stanescu MD, Popescu C. 2019. Influence of composition on the thermal behavior of oils extracted from the seeds of some romanian grapes. J. Sci. Food Agric. 99, 6324-6332.

Che Man YB, Tan CP. 2002. Comparative differential scanning calorimetric analysis of vegetable oils: ii. Effects of cooling rate variation. Phytochem. Anal. 13, 142-151.

do Prado ACP, Manion BA, Seetharaman K, Deschamps FC, Arellano DB, Block JM. 2013. Relationship between antioxidant properties and chemical composition of the oil and the shell of pecan nuts [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch]. Ind. Crops Prod. 45, 64-73.

Fernandes GD, Gómez-Coca RB, Pérez-Camino MC, Moreda W, Barrera-Arellano D. 2017. Chemical characterization of major and minor compounds of nut oils: almond, hazelnut, and pecan nut. J. Chem. 2017, 1-12.

Jiang Q, Wong J, Bruce NA. 2004. γ-Tocopherol induces apoptosis in androgen-responsive lncap prostate cancer cells via caspase-dependent and independent mechanisms. Ann. N Y Acad. Sci. 1031, 399-400.

Kornsteiner M, Wagner KH, Elmadfa I. 2006. Tocopherols and total phenolics in 10 different nut types. Food Chem. 98, 381-387.

Ling B, Yang X, Li R, Wang S. 2015. Physicochemical properties, volatile compounds, and oxidative stability of cold pressed kernel oils from raw and roasted pistachio (Pistacia vera L. Var Kerman). Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 118, 1368-1379.

Ma L, Lin XM. 2010. Effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on aspects of eye health. J. Sci. Food Agric. 90, 2-12.

Mansor TST, Che Man YB, Shuhaimi M. 2012. Employment of differential scanning calorimetry in detecting lard adulteration in virgin coconut oil. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 89, 485-496.

Mathur P, Ding Z, Saldeen T, Mehta JL. 2015. Tocopherols in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular disease. Clin. Cardiol. 38, 570-576.

Miraliakbari H, Shahidi F. 2008. Lipid class compositions, tocopherols and sterols of tree nut oils extracted with different solvents. J. Food Lipids. 15, 81-96.

Nilchian Z, Ehsani MR, Piravi-Vanak Z, Bakhoda H. 2020. Comparative analysis of butter thermal behavior in combination with bovine tallow. Food Sci. Technol. (Campinas). 40, 597-604.

Ouni Y, Guido F, Daoud D, Zarrouk M. 2011. Effect of cultivar on minor components in Tunisia olive fruits cultivated in microclimate. J. Hortic. For. 3, 13-20.

Rabadán A, Álvarez-Ortí M, Pardo JE. 2019. A comparison of the effect of genotype and weather conditions on the nutritional composition of most important commercial nuts. Sci. Hortic. 244, 218-224.

Rábago-Panduro LM, Martín-Belloso O, Welti-Chanes J, Morales-de la Peña M. 2020. Changes in bioactive compounds content and antioxidant capacity of pecan nuts [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh. K. Koch)] during storage. Rev. Mex. Ing. Quim. 19, 1439-1452.

Rezig L, Chouaibi M, Msaada K, Hamdi S. 2012. Chemical composition and profile characterisation of pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) seed oil. Ind. Crop Prod. 37, 82-87.

Ribeiro SR, Klein B, Ribeiro QM, dos Santos ID, Gomes Genro AL, Ferreira DF, Hamannb JJ, Barina JS, Cichoskia AJ, Fronzac D, Both V, Wagner R. 2020. Chemical composition and oxidative stability of eleven pecan cultivars produced in Southern Brazil. Food Res. Int. 136, 1-12.

Smolarek AK, Suh N. 2011. Chemopreventive activity of vitamin E in breast cancer: a focus on γ- and δ-tocopherol. Review. Nutrients. 3, 962-986.

Tan CP, Che Man YB. 2002. Comparative differential scanning calorimetric analysis of vegetable oils: i. effects of heating rate variation. Phytochem. Anal. 13, 129-141.

Taş NG, Gökmen V. 2015. Profiling triacylglycerols, fatty acids and tocopherols in hazelnut varieties grown in Turkey. J. Food Compos. Anal. 44, 115-121.

Yanty NAM, Marikkar JMN, Che Man YB. 2013. Effect of fractional crystallization on composition and thermal characteristics of avocado (Persea americana) butter. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 111, 2203-2209.

WHO. 2019. World Health Organization. Healthy diet.

Zeb A. 2012. Triacylglycerols composition, oxidation and oxidation compounds in camellia oil using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Chem. Phys. Lipids. 165, 608-614.



How to Cite

Bouali I, Rattouli H, Herchi W, Martine L, Grégoire S, Albouchi A, Martínez-Force E, Boukhchina S, Berdeaux O. Chemical composition and thermal properties of Tunisian pecan nut [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] oils. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2022Sep.8 [cited 2022Sep.29];73(3):e468. Available from:

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>