The pulp of Raphia hookeri fruit is gaining lot of interest from Cameroonian consumers. Oil crops are the second most valuable commodity in the world trade, hence the study of its quality is important for human safety and health. Thus, this study was carried out to evaluate the physico-chemical properties of Cameroonian Raphia hookeri pulp as well as its antioxidant potential and nutritional properties. The oil was extracted from the dried pulp using hexane via maceration method. The color, iodine value, acid value, peroxide value and the thiobarbituric acid value which characterize physically and chemically the oil were analyzed respectively using the AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) method which was also used for the acid value, the IDF method and the 2-thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method. From this investigation, as result, the value red color, 84.38 g/100g, 1.36 %, 50.01meq O2/ kg and 7.08 ppm were obtained respectively. A total of three antioxidant tests which are the 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl test (DPPH test), the Ferric reducing antioxidant power and the Hydroxyl radical scavenging activity were done on the extract in other to determine the antioxidant activity. The results showed that the pulp of the fruit has good radical scavenging activity thus has a powerful antioxidant potential. Also, Raphia hookeri fruit pulp is nutritionally rich in fiber with 53.57% of fiber, 20.96% of lipid, contain 13.77% of carbohydrate, 8% of protein, 3.70% of minerals predominated with potassium and calcium. Therefore, the pulp of the fruit cannot only be recommended as food supplement because of it rich nutrient content, but also as source of antioxidant for pharmaceutical products and source of unsaturated oil to be used for human consumption to prevent against diseases.
Raphia hookeri pulp from Cameroon has very good nutritional and antioxidant properties, thus can be used in food formulation as supplement as well as source for natural antioxidant.
Raphia hookeri, oil, antioxidant, physico-chemical properties, nutritional, proximate analysis.