Candlenut oil or kukui nut oil is extracted from the nut of the Aleurites moluccanus (Aleurites triloba), the candlenut or kuku'i.
The candlenut tree is widely distrbuted through Polynesia, as well as being found in Hawaii, South Asia and China, and has been introduced into the West Indies. The oil from the nut is of commercial value, and is included in the Drying oils, as well as being used as an illuminating oil. Solvent extraction of the oil from the crushed kernel yields a light yellow oil (density 0.92 g/cm3 (0.033 lb/cu in)); when obtained by expression (pressing) the oil may be dark from impurities. Roughly half the mass of the kernel is oil.
A sample of the oil obtained by petroleum extraction had a saponification value of 179.1 (generally 190-205), an iodine number of 155.5 (generally 135-165, as low as 114), and a Reichert value of 2.82.
The oil typically contains 15% oleic acid, 40% linoleic acid, and less than 30% linolenic acid. Analysis of nut oil samples from Polynesia (Hawaii, Tonga) over a ten year period (-2007) showed no change in fatty acid composition - that is : ~6% Palmitic acid, 2-3% Stearic acid, 15-18% Linoleic acid, and 30-33% Linolenic acid. Oils from Maritime Southeast Asia (Indonesia, East Timor) had different unsaturated content, with ~20-25% Oleic, 34-42% Linoleic, and 27-32% Linolenic acid, with Palmitic and Stearic content similar.
Analysis of a different sample of candle nut kernel seed oil from either solvent (hexane soxhlet) or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction showed ~54% stearic acid, 16% oleic acid, 20% linoleic acid, and <3% linolenic acid.
It is also known as the Spanish Walnut (Jamaica), Belgaum walnut oil (India), and Kekune oil (Ceylon).
- Tung oil, oil of Vernicia fordii - the oil of Aleurites Cordata (now Vernicia cordata) yields "Japanese tung-oil".
- Thompson 1913, p.644, col.1-2.
- Wood et al. 1899.
- Thompson 1913, p.644, col.2.
- Mindaryani, A.; Rahayu, S. S. (2010), "Epoxidation of candlenut oil", 2010 International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Kyoto, Abstract, doi:10.1109/ICCCENG.2010.5560371
- Ako, Harry; Kong, N.; Brown, A. (September 2005), "Fatty acid profiles of kukui nut oils over time and from different sources", Industrial Crops and Products , 22 (2): 169–174, doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2004.07.003
- Norulaini, Nik; Budi, Rahmad; Anuar, Omar; Kadir, MD; Omar, Mohd (2004), "Major Chemical Constituents of Candle Nut Oil extract using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide" (PDF), Malyasian Journal of Pharmaceutical Studies, 2 (1): 61–72
- Thompson, Alice R. (1913), "Kukui (Candle-Nut) Oil", Ind. Eng. Chem., 5 (8): 644–645, doi:10.1021/ie50056a007
- Wood, George B.; Bache, Franklin; Wood, H. C. Jr.; Remington, Joseph P.; Sadtler, Samuel P. (1899), The dispensatory of the United States of America (18th ed.), Philadelphia : Lippincott, Aleurites, Triloba, Oil of., p.1556