Sources and Chemical Composition

The seeds of O. biennis contain approx 14-26% OEP, which is a fixed oil. Within this oil, several important fatty acids are present:

• 6-11% of cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid; oleic acid

• Miscellaneous components: stearic acids, steroids, campesterol, vitamin E, and p-sitosterol.

A descriptive report of OEP produced in China states the following information about OEP: refractive index (20°C) of 1.48, specific gravity (20°C) of 0.93, iodine value of 140, saponification value of 188, thiocyanogen value of 84, and unsaponifiable matter of 1% (3).

In other parts of the plant, mucilage and tannin are present. OEP contains the highest amount of y-linolenic acid (an EFA) of any food substance.

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