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Effect of maturity stage on the chemical composition of argan fruit pulp

Harhar H., Gharby S., El Idrissi Y., Pioch D., Matthäus B., Charrouf Z., Tabyaoui M.. 2019. OCL. Oilseeds and Fats, Crops and Lipids, 26 : 8 p..

DOI: 10.1051/ocl/2019012

Argan tree, a species endemic to Southern Morroco, is well known for its kernel oil used in cosmetics and health-food, but the corresponding pulp attracted less interest from researchers and little is known about its chemical composition and evolution during maturation. The pulp of argan fruits monthly harvested during the ripening period based on fruit color (April to July), was analyzed. With progressing ripeness various changes were observed in the chemical composition, such as (i) a four-fold increase of total soluble sugars content (glucose, fructose and saccharose), and of Fe (75¿165¿ppm), but also (ii) a drop of many components, such as proteins (10.1¿6.4%), and cell wall polymers, lignin (14.9¿5.9%) and hemicellulose and cellulose. Hexane-soluble compounds found in substantial amount (10.7% in April) also decreased with time: the pulp oil peak (8.3%) was in April and June, and that of polyisoprene in June (3.6%). Therefore the stage of maturity (harvest date) is to be considered, without affecting the quality of the argan oil.

Mots-clés : argania spinosa; huile d¿argan; composition chimique; date de récolte; maturité; pulpe de fruits; qualité des produits; maroc

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