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Afifa Saeed, Zafar Iqbal*, Hafiza Iqra Khalil, Zhang Hai, Mohammad Akram, Lubna Liaqat, Zaheen Tara, Marvi Mansha and Zubia Gulzar


The oil was extracted from the aerial roots of ficus elastica through soxhlet extractor by using n-hexane for five hours. The yellow coloured oil with sweet fragrance in 1.61% yield was obtained. Physicochemical properties were studied by standard reported procedures while fatty acid profile was measured by gas chromatograph coupled with flame ionized detector. Esterification of the oil was carried out with methanol by using boron triflouride as catalyst. Results revealed that free fatty acid value, 4.27; saponification number, 49.9 mg KOH/g; and acid number, 8.50 were respectively. The GC-FID study showed the isobutyric, 6.4%; butyric, 3.3%; isovalenic, 25.5%; valenic, 6.9%; caprylic, 29.2%; capruic, 5.2%; capric, 20.3% and lauric acid, 2.9%, respectively. The oil mainly contains low molecular weight fatty acids which are well suitable for application in soap, detergents and cosmetic industries.

Keywords: Ficus elastica, Oil, Saponification, Esterification, GC-FID, Fatty acids.

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