New cold-pressed oil recovered from seeds of Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. ex Spach, family: Rosaceae), obtained as a by-product of fruit processing, was characterized and compared with nine well-known oils. The Japanese quince seed oil had the highest amounts of tocopherols, β-carotene, and total phenolic compounds (726.20; 10.77 and 64.03 mg/kg, respectively) and the lowest amount of chlorophyll (0.12 mg/kg) and peroxide value (0.59 mEq O2/kg) compared to sesame, poppy, peanut, flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, and walnut oils. A correlation was found between the total contents of tocochromanols, β-carotene, phenolic compounds, and the radical-scavenging capacity of the oils (0.94, 0.68, 0.63, respectively), and also between the amount of chlorophyll and the CIE a* coordinate (0.80) and the amount of β-carotene and the CIE b* coordinate (0.47). In Japanese quince seed oil, 13 fatty acids were identified with three predominating: palmitic acid (10.07%), oleic acid (34.55%), and linoleic acid (52.35%). The highest consumer acceptance was noted for hazelnut and walnut oils, while it was lowest for the poppy and flaxseed oils. Amygdalin was not detected in the Japanese quince seed oil.
Practical applications: This study demonstrated that Japanese quince seed oil is a richer source of nutritional bio-components than other commercial cold-pressed oils. The positive results of sensory evaluation and the absence of amygdalin in the oil indicates its potential future use in food. Moreover, it is recovered from by-products of fruit industry; therefore, its utilization in obtaining of new, healthy products ensures environmental sustainability and a more effective use of harvested plant material.