The extraction of oil from Mudong bayberry (Myrica rubra) kernels was performed using the organic solvent leaching method. The extraction time, liquid/solid ratio, and temperature were optimized by the response surface methodology. The fatty acid content of kernel oil was also analyzed using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results showed that the optimal extraction time, liquid/solid ratio, and temperature for oil yield were 140 min, 7.5:1(v/w), and 48.5°C, respectively. Under optimum conditions, the oil yield was 62.52% (w/w). The GC-MS analysis showed that oleic acid accounted for 47.90% and linoleic acid accounted for 37.30% of total fatty acids in the Mudong bayberry kernels. Furthermore, a small amount of linolenic acid (0.12%), 11-eicosenoic acid (0.29%), and palmitic acid (0.88%) were also found in the extracted oil of Mudong bayberry kernels. This study revealed that Mudong bayberry kernels have a high lipid content, and the percentage of unsaturated fatty acids found is close to those found in other varieties of bayberry and olive oil. Mudong bayberry kernels have a great potential as alternative plant oil in the world.
Key words: Organic solvent leaching extraction; Mudong bayberry; kernel oil; response surface methodology; GC-MS