Tomato seed oil

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Tomato seeds

Tomato seed oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of tomatoes.

The possibility of extracting oil from tomato seeds was studied in the USA in 1914. Seeds were obtained from a variety of locations and pressed to produce oil. This was refined using an alkali and then clarified with fuller's earth. The resulting oil was pale yellow and considered suitable for dressing salads.[1]

The seeds have been given renewed attention as there is pressure to utilise the waste products of tomato processing, in which seeds are the largest component. In Greece, over a million tons of tomatoes are processed each year and the resulting quantity of seeds might be used to produce up to 2000 tons of oil. The oil from Greek seeds has been extracted by using ether as a solvent. When analysed, it was found to contain a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid.[2]

Botanical name[edit]

Tomato belongs to Solanaceae family;

species: Solanum lycopersicum.

Tomato cultivation in India[edit]

Soil: sandy to heavy clay, PH.6.0-7.0. well drained, light.

Plant: an unarmed spreading, pubescent herb with characteristic odour.

Cultivation: It is cultivated all over India. Major states are Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, U.P, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Assam.

Climate: Climate should be warm with plenty of moisture and sunshine.

Tomato seeds[edit]

Contains: 8.95% moisture, 27.62% protein, 24.40% fat, 0.56% Lecithin, 13.60% Fiber,and 40.20% of ash. N-free extracts are present up to 21%.Seeds form only 0.5% of tomato. Seeds are waste products in food industries manufacturing tomato juice, sauce, ketchup and food colours such as lycopene and beta carotene. Seeds are recovered from discarded waste product by flotation. In India the potential availability of seeds will be 7500 tonnes for anum.

Contents of Tomato Seed

Substance Percentage(%)
Moisture 10.0
Oil(fat) 24-25
Proteins 27-28
Fibre 13-14
Lecithin 0.56
N-free Extract 21

Tomato seed oil[edit]

Tomato seed contains 24-25% of oil,but 15-17% oil can be recovered by crushing in expellers. Tomato oil is brown in color with strong odour. It contains saturated fatty acidsup to 14-18%, and unsaturated fatty acids up to 76-80%. Fatty acid composition of Tomato Seed oil[3]

Fatty acids percentage(%)up to
stearic acid (C18:0) 20.0%
Oleic acid(C18:1) 25.0%
Linoleic acid(C18:2) 50.0%
Linolenic acid(C18:3) 2.0-3.0%

Specifications of crude Tomato seed Oil[3]

character value
Refractive Index at 400C 1.4603±0.00022
Iodine Value 105±0.7
Saponification value 186-198
Unsaponifiable matter 1.4% max
Moisture 0.5%max
Color 1" cell,(y+5R) 30(crude Oil)
density, at 25° 0.9160±0.00024
viscosity,(21 °C)mPa.s 75±0.4
Smoke point,°C 176±63.0

Usage of Tomato seed oil[edit]


  1. ^ The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 11 part 2: 850, 1919 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Lazos, Tsaknis, Lalas, "Characteristics and composition of tomato seed oil" (PDF), Grasas y Aceites, 49: 440–445
  3. ^ a b Ciiaracteristics and composition of tomato seed oil.By Evangelos S. Lazos*, John Tsaknis and Stavros Lalas