Tamanu oil is pressed from nuts of either the Calophyllum inophyllum (usually) or the Calophyllum tacamahaca (ati), tropical trees belonging to Calophyllaceae family. The nuts yield 70–75% of the greenish-yellow inedible oil. The oil originates in Polynesia, where it continues to play an important cultural role. Commercial uses of tamanu oil are predominantly for skin care. The oil has both medicinal value and use as a fuel.
The fatty acid methyl esters derived from C. inophyllum seed oil meets the major biodiesel requirements in the United States (ASTM D 6751), and European Union (EN 14214). The average oil yield is 11.7 kg-oil/tree or 4680 kg-oil/hectare. In the northwest coastal areas of Luzon island in Philippines, the oil was used for night lamps. This widespread use started to decline when kerosene became available, and later on electricity. It was also used as fuel to generate electricity to provide power for radios during World War II.
In Southern India, the oil of the seeds of the plant is used specifically for treating skin diseases. It is also applied topically in cases of rheumatism. The oil may have been useful in waterproofing cloth and is used as a varnish. An extract from the fruit was once used to make a brown dye to colour cloth. The oil can also be used to make soap.
In the most of the South Sea islands, tamanu or sultan champa oil is used as an analgesic medicine (natives use it for sciatica and rheumatism) and to cure ulcers and bad wounds A farmer in Nagappattinam district of Tamil Nadu has successfully used the oil as biodiesel to run his 5-hp pumpset.
It is also called beauty leaf oil, calophyllum inophyllum seed oil, calophyllum inophyllum oil, kamani oil, calophyllum oil, calophyllum inophyllum essential oil, dilo oil, foraha oil, Alexandrian laurel oil, poon oil, nyamplung oil, domba oil, honne oil (Honge is used as biodiesel]), undi oil, pinnai oil, fetau oil, punnai oil, daok oil, pinnay oil, kamanu oil, bitaog oil, tamanu nut oil, punna oil, takamaka oil (ambiguous), laurelwood oil (ambiguous), tacamahac oil (ambiguous), punnaga oil, fetaʻu oil, palo maria oil, ballnut tree oil, ballnut oil, btaches oil, beach calophyllum oil, or mù u oil.
- Common name: Beauty Leaf, Alexandrian laurel
- Hindi: सुलतान चम्पा Sultan Champa
- Marathi: सुरंगी Surangi पुन्नाग punnag, उंड unda OR उंडी undi
- Tamil : புன்னை punnai
- Tulu : Ponne
- Telugu=Punnaga, నమేరువు nameruvu, పొన్న ponna
- English=Alexandrian laurel
- oriya= tungakesara
- Malayalam= പുന്ന punna
- Urdu= سرپن surpun
- Sanskrit= काम्बोजः kambojh, कुम्भीकः kumbhikh, नाग चम्पा naag champa, नागपुष्पः nagapushpah,
- Konkani= उंडी undi, उंगम unga
- Vietnamese= Dầu mù u
- Indonesia = Nyamplung
Fruiting takes place twice in a year in May and November. The fruit (the ball nut) is a round, green drupe reaching 2 to 4 cm in diameter and having a single large seed. When ripe, the fruit is wrinkled and its color varies from yellow to brownish-red. The weight of the small fruit is 9 to 16.0 g when they are fresh. After drying, the weight is reduced to about 4 g. Ripe and fallen fruits are collected from the bottom of the tree, by beating the limbs with a long hand stick, or hand-picked by climbing the tree.
The kernel part in the whole dry fruit comprises 43–52% of its weight. The kernel is 1.5 cm diameter, enclosed in a soft seed coat and a hard seed coat. The kernel contains 55–73% of oil and 25% moisture when fresh.
Seed processing and extraction of oil
Properties and fatty acids of oil
The oil is bluish-yellow to dark green viscous, known as domba oil, or pinnai oil, or dilo oil. It has a disagreeable taste or odour, as it contains some resinous material that can easily be removed by refining. The concentration of resinous substances in the oil varies from 10 to 30%. The main compounds of the seed oil are oleic, linoleic, stearic, and palmitic acid.
|Refractive index 30 °C||1.460-1.470|
|Unsaponifiable matter||1.5%, maximum|
Fatty acids present in oil
Other components include calophyllolide, friedelin, inophyllums B and P, terpenic essences, benzoic and oxibenzoic acids, phospho-amino lipids, glycerides, saturated fatty acids, and 4-phenylcoumarins.
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- SEAHand Book-2009 by The Solvent Extractors' Association of India
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- Prospects and potential of fatty acid methyl esters of some non-traditional seed oils for use as biodiesel in India
- International Journal Of Energy and International Environmental Engineering
- Bogor Agricultural University Scientific Repository
- Impact of palm, mustard, waste cooking oil and Calophyllum inophyllum biofuels on performance and emission of CI engine
- Tamanu oil Botanical Data profile