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Extraction, Nutritional Analysis and Sensory Evaluation of Melon Seed Oil

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Home Economics
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Melon seed oil extracted from the seeds of Cucumeropsis manni plant is also used as cooking oil and has health benefits. Unlike the conventional cooking oils, it is a rich source of saturated fatty acids. The objective of this study was to extract oil from melon seed, carry out a nutritional analysis and sensory evaluation. This was therefore done through a nutritional analysis and administration of questionnaires. The data obtained was analysed using ANOVA for variance and SPSS version 10. From the results obtained, the nutritional analysis showed that melon seed oil has   high crude protein content (32.55mg/g) and all essential amino acids. Total fat content in the seeds was 27mg/g and the fatty acids that were in abundance were: linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Mineral and vitamin analysis indicated that the seed contains important macro and micro minerals, and vitamins. Nutrient composition shows that melon seed is a rich source of protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins making it nutritive oil. The high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids, demonstrate that melon seed oil has potential health benefits. Our findings also showed that many persons over 80% appreciated the taste, aroma of the melon seed oil with persons of age group 41-50years trending. Thus melon seed oil is a potential food source that can be incorporated in many diets.



1.1 Background to the Study

Oils extracted from plant sources have a rich history of use by local people as a source of food, energy, medicine and for cosmetic applications. The continued increase in human population has resulted in the rise in the demand as well as the price of edible oils, leading to the search for alternative unconventional sources of oils, particularly in the developing countries. There are hundreds of underexplored plant seeds rich in oil suitable for edible or industrial purposes (Latha sabikhi et al., 2012). One of such underutilized product is melon seed oil, rich in linoleic acid (~64.5%). It is used for frying and cooking in some African and Middle Eastern American countries owning to its unique flavour.

Food contains essential ingredients for sustenance of plants and animals1. Small but mighty, seeds are packed with life-enhancing nutrients such as protein, iron, fibre, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids that can help the body fight diseases and promote good healthy living. Studies have shown that seeds do not only contain nutritionally important bioactive compounds but are also sources of other phyto-compounds which at certain critical levels have significant anti-nutritional effects. Melon seed plant is a tendril climber or crawling annual crops with fibrous and shallow root system. According to previous study, the melon seed oil contains 35 percent protein and 50 percent oil, therefore may be useful raw materials for the food and cosmetic industries. Melon contains vitamin C, and B2, minerals, riboflavin, fat, protein and carbohydrate. They can contribute substantially towards obtaining a balanced diet. Many plant proteins usually in the form of protein extracts are being investigated and tested for new products, such as low cost fabricated food to which are nutritious, attractive and acceptable to consumers just like conventional foods from meat and fish. Seeds have nutritive and calorific values, which make them necessary in diets. Research attention is being focused towards increasing utilization of plant protein sources for food use. The ultimate success of utilizing plant proteins as ingredients largely depends upon the beneficial qualities they impact to foods, which in turn depend largely on their nutritional and functional properties. Despite the nutritional, industrial and medicinal significance of melon seed oil little detail on its mineral composition is available to an international readership and despite extensive research on it in many part of West Africa. Further study on the melon seeds oil will provide additional data on their nutritional and anti-nutritional constituents. There is a need for this study to be carried out.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There is recent increase in diseases related to high intake of fats and oil due to the used of conventional cooking oils in the wold at large and in Cameroon to be specific. There is therefore the need for an alternative cooking oil source with less amount of unsaturated fatty acids content. Melon seed oil is the ideal source because it is rich in fatty acids such as palmitic, stearic, myristic, oleic, linoleic, proteins, macro and micronutrients. With all these health benefits melon seed oil can be incorporated in our daily meals since it contains omega -3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help in the prevention and reduction of several cardiovascular diseases.

1.3 Research Questions

  • What is the nutritive value of the melon seed oil and how do we extract the oil?

  • What are the health benefits of melon seed oil?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The main objective

To extract oil from melon seed, carry out a nutritional and sensory analysis of the oil.

Specific objectives

  • To extract oil from melon seeds
  • To carry out the nutritional analysis of the oil from melon seeds
  • To do a sensory analysis of the oil produced from melon seeds


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