This study was designed to examine both the chemical composition as well as the antioxidant activities of the seed oil extracted from Zizyphus lotus L. The results showed that the neutral lipids were mainly composed of triacylglycerols (92.75% of total lipids). Phosphatidylcholine and digalactosyldiacylglycerol were the main phospholipid and glycolipid subclasses, respectively. Oleic, linoleic and palmitic acids were the major fatty acids in the lipids of Z. lotus seeds. In addition, β-tocopherol was the predominant tocol at 122.13 mg/100 g seed oil, which was equivalent to 60.41% of the total tocols followed by δ-tocopherol (13.30%) and δ-tocotrienol (8.95%). The total phenol and flavonoid contents were 18.45 mg/100 g and 2.31 QE/g oil, respectively, with ferulic acid as the main phenolic acid (1.36 mg/100 g oil). Overall, the strong antioxidant activities suggest that it could be advantageously used as a functional or nutraceutical food in order to prevent or moderate oxidative stress-related diseases.
Zizyphus lotus seed oil is a good source of the unsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid and total tocols, and has the potential to be used as nutrient rich food oil. In addition, it contains a high level of phospholipids with phosphatidylcholine as the major component. Z. lotus seed oil has good natural antioxidant properties. The results suggest that Z. lotus seed oil could be explored as a novel and potential natural antioxidant for use in functional foods and medicine.