Oil and Squalene in Amaranthus Grain and Leaf

Han Ping He, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Amaranthus grain of 104 genotypes from 30 species was investigated for oil and squalene contents and fatty acid profiles. The overall average oil content in Amaranthus grain was 5.0%, ranging from 1.9 to 8.7%. Squalene concentration in extracted oils ranged from trace to 7.3%, with an average concentration of 4.2%. The average contents of three major fatty acids in Amaranthus grain were 22.2, 29.1, and 44.6% for palmitic, oleic, and linoleic, respectively. The average fat content in dried mature leaves of 45 Amaranthus genotypes was 1.63%, ranging from 1.08 to 2.18%. The squalene concentration in leaf lipid extracts averaged 0.26%, ranging from trace to 0.77%, which is much lower than that from seeds. The major fatty acids of leaf extracts were linolenic, linoleic, and palmitic. Linolenic ranged from 56.5 to 62.0% of total fatty acids; linoleic, from 15.5 to 24.7%; and palmitic acid, from 13.5 to 15.5%. As for the fatty acid compositions at different growth stages, fatty acid content in leaf lipid was lower in mature leaves than in young leaves. The saturated/unsaturated ratio decreased when the leaf grew to maturity. Principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out on compositional characteristics of grain. The first two components accounted for 70% of the total variance (38.3 and 21.7%, respectively). There was a positive correlation between oil content and squalene yield, and a negative correlations were found between linoleic and either of the other two major fatty acids, palmitic and oleic. The taxonomic relationship among the species was also elucidated by PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7913-7920
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Amaranthus grain
  • Fatty acid
  • Leaves
  • Oil contents
  • Principal component analysis
  • Squalene
  • Taxonomy


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