Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 32 (1) March 2020, p. 50-56 SURESH, K* and SANJIB KUMAR BEHERA**
Published Online: 16 March 2020
During fruit ripening, a sequence of physical and chemical transformations takes place in oil palm fruits. The study elucidated variations in fruit weight, oil content in mesocarp and fatty acid profiles during fruit ripening at 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 weeks after anthesis (WAA) of four commercial oil palm crosses viz., United Plantations (UP), Deli x Nigeria (DxN), Palode and Deli x Ghana (DxG) under sub-tropical environment. Fruit weight (5.4 g-10.6 g) and oil content (22.6%-79.9%) in crosses increased from 12-20 WAA. The ideal time of harvest was at 20 WAA, which coincided with highest oil content. The moisture content in mesocarp decreased as fruit ripened. Six fatty acid profiles viz., myristic (0.5%-2.1%), palmitic (31.1%- 45.1%), stearic (2.8%-5.1%), oleic (19.1%-43.1%), linoleic (8.7%-32.4%) and linolenic (0.4%-10.4%) were identified by standardising gas chromatograph parameters. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and saturated fatty (SFA) acids increased in all crosses as fruits ripened from 12-20 WAA, while polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased during ripening. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids were highest in DxG cross, indicating its better oil quality. Variations in fatty acid profiles of oil palm crosses can be utilised for developing palms with superior oil quality.KEYWORDS:
* ICAR-Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Pedavegi-534 450, Andhra Pradesh, India.
** ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal – 462 038, Madhya Pradesh, India.