Moringa oleifera seeds also known as “Drumsticks” are produced annually in the tropical and subtropical countries of Asia and Africa (Fuglie L.J 1999). The seeds can be used in a variety of ways including as medicinal and herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, and for industrial and Agricultural purposes. The seeds contain 19 to 47 percent oil (Ahmad et al 1989, Khan et al 1975). Known commercially as “ben oil”, it is similar to Olive Oil and is rich in Palmetic, Stearic, Behenic and Oleic Acids (Nautiyal et al 1987, Verma et al 1976). The oil is clear, Odorless and resists rancidity (Ferro et al 1970, Ramachandran et al 1980).
These oil posses about 75% Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is less vulnerable to oxidative stress than unsaturated fats. Oleic acid has the ability to reduce inflammation in the system, since oleic acid appears to be one of the main protective agents in reducing the levels of cardiovascular disease, breast and skin cancer (Pauwels E. K, 2011). The oil has high antioxidant properties, making it a valuable source of vitamin A, C and E. It is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of antioxidants (Dogra et al 1975). The oil is good for skin formulation product because of its potent antioxidant inhibition which prevents bacterial infections, reduce inflammation and provide a smooth and healthy tone to the arms, legs and face.
These oil possess the following properties of antiflammatory, antihypertensive, antiepileptic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antipyretic (Rajib Singha, 2010). It is used in all kinds of cosmetic products and soap (Delaveau et al, 1980, Ramachandran et al 1980). It is used for treatment of venomous bites, rheumatism and gout (Parrotta et al, 2001).
Study was conducted determined the antioxidant activity of Moringa seed oil and the utilization of the oil in the production of body cream.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Soxhlet extractor was used to extract the oil from Moringa oleifera seed using petroleum ether as the solvent. The physical and chemical characterization of the oil was determined. The free radical scavenging activity of the extract/fractions of Moringa oleifera oil was evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazil using the patel method. 0.5ml of different concentrations of the sample (Moringa oleifera oil) and 0.5ml of DPPH solution was taken, which was made up to 5ml with solvent. The mixture was left in a dark cupboard for 30mins. The absorbances of the different concentrations at 520nm or 517nm was taken using Uv-visible spectrophotometer then extrapolated the inhibition concentration at IC50. Ascorbic acid was used as standard and measurements were done in triplicates. In the production of body cream, the water phase methyl paraben, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, water, borax and Oil phase croda wax, cetyl alcohol, paraffin oil, petroleum Jelly and moringa oil were allowed to melt for about 70 – 800c in separate beakers. The aqueous phase was poured into the oil phase gradually. This was stirred to ensure proper mixing and texture then other additives were added. NAFDAC method of standard analysis Test was carried out using the body cream to ensure the safety and performance of the body cream.
The results of the quantity characterization of the Moringa seed oil; it has a percentage yield of 26.9%, specific gravity 1.1827, free fatty acid 2.51mg/KOH/g, Acid value 5.038620mg/KOH/g, saponification value 187.5 and peroxide value was not observed because it does not undergo oxidation and can be steady for a very long time. The result of the extraction showed that Moringa oleifera seed had 26.9% oil content. This percentage yield is appreciable compared to other edible oil known. The saponification value is 187.5 which is low, this indicates that it has long carbon chain and can be used in making soap. The free fatty acid is 2.51 which is an indication that its rancidity is low and it should have a long shelf life. The oil is good in making cosmetics.
The antioxidant inhibition result showed that concentration increases with increase in the average percentage inhibition of the free radical or oxidation of the molecules. At the 10ug/ml where 0.5ml of the free radical gave the average inhibition of 65% while for 500ug/ml 0.5ml of free radical gave inhibition of 84%. In all 0.5ml of the oil was use and diluted to different concentration with petroleum ether. The Uv. Visible analysis of antioxidant average inhibition of the free radicals has revealed the importance of antioxidant activity of the oil. This has also shown the use of the plant seed in curing many diseases such as cancer, lung disease, malaria, hypertension, arthritis, Diabetes and others infectious diseases. The result has shown no case of itching or irritation after 48 hours of usage. This showed that this cream is perfectly okay and can be used for years without problem. Lead, mercury and Hydroquinone were absence in the cream produced with moringa seed oil. This is an evident that its use in cream formulation is perfectly good for the body as it smoothens and moisturizes the skin. Emulsion type test has shown that the cream is good for dry skin as it contains oil and leaves the skin moist.
The pH of the cream with Moringa seed oil is 5.70 which is moderate and close to the range. The standard pH is between 5.5 – 7 for a moisturizing body cream.
From the result of extraction, it was obvious that Moringa oleifera seed contain oil which could be useful to man. The high yield of oil made it recommendable for commercial use with the help of the physical and chemical characterizations of moringa oil which justify moringa oil as a non-drying oil in other words it is good for human consumption.
The oil showed a higher antioxidant activity determined with free radical scavenging of DPPH. The result strongly suggests that moringa oil may be a potential candidate in the area of natural anticancer. Antioxidants are believed to play an important role in the body. They are known to (not only) decrease serum low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) level, but also prevent oxidation of LDL. It is a good antioxidant and can be used in curing.
Plantation of this seed should be encouraged by the government and individuals. Government should mount up serious routine to check on the oils and to ensure that vegetable oils consumption by people meets the standard for the health of the consumer. Individuals should be encouraged to do research work on this plant especially itsantiseptic, antipyretic, antihypertensive, antiepileptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties to improve human health of man. This oil should be introduced in all cosmetic product and National Agency for food and Drug administration and control (NAFDAC) should ensure and find out those companies that are still using hydroquinone in body cream production and quickly recommend its replacement with Moringa seed oil. Finally commercial production of this oil should be encouraged through motivational means.
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