Pigment composition of 'Hass' avocado and the extracted oil : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology in Food Technology at Massey University
The changes in the concentration of pigments in the skin and the three pulp sections of the Persea americana (Hass var.) and the extracted oil up to 13 days after harvest at 20°C were identified and quantified by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). In the fresh tissue, seven pigments identified belonging to the carotenoid family were lutein, β-carotene, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, antheraxanthin and α-carotene. Chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b, pheophytin a and pheophytin b, chlorophyllide a and chlorophyllide b were identified and measured. In the oil extracted using Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE), lutein and antheraxanthin were identified. Neoxanthin, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin were not present. The [β-carotene and α-carotene were not tested due to the limitation of the method used in the oil determination. Chlorophyllide a and chlorophyllide b were absent. In the pulp starting from the dark pulp adjacent to the skin towards the stone, the carotenoid and chlorophyll concentrations in the fresh tissue and the extracted oil both showed a decreasing pattern. The highest oil yield was found to be between days 6 and day 8 after harvest. The pigment composition patterns of the avocado fresh tissue correspond to that of the extracted oil. There was an on-going increase in the concentration of the total anthocyanins in the avocado skin. The major anthocyanin identified was cyanidin 3-O-glucoside. Cold pressed avocado oil in the laboratory and in a commercial factory with different levels of skin included during the malaxing were produced. The peroxide value, free fatty acid value, fatty acid composition and antifungal diene were measured to determine the quality of avocado oil with different levels of skin. These showed that the addition of skin had no effect on the quality of oil produced. The addition of skin during cold pressed extraction increased the pigment levels. The stability of factory cold pressed avocado oil with added skin was investigated using accelerated shelf life testing. The addition of skin during avocado oil production in the factory shortened the shelf life. Storage of avocado oil under dark and at lower temperatures (≤20°C) provided greater stability for avocado oil pigments. The levels of antifungal diene in the avocado oil were undetectable. The comprehensive data regarding pigment composition obtained in this research may be of used in food technology, nutrition, postharvest management and gene technology. Keywords: avocado fruit, avocado oil, pigments, colour, carotenoids, chlorophylls, anthocyanin, lutein, chlorophyll a chlorophyll b, chlorophyllides, pheophytins, accelerated solvent extraction, cold pressed extraction, diene, peroxide value, shelf life.