Michigan State University
Chinese melon (Momordica charantia L.), also known as bitter gourd, is a tropical crop, grown throughout Asian countries for use as food and medicinals. In 1993, four cultivars of Chinese melon were grown in Mississippi and the seeds were collected. Oil contents of the seeds ranged from 41 to 45% and the oils contained 63-68% eleostearic acid and 22-27% stearic acid. Industrially important tung oil, a ''fast-dry ing oil'' used in paints and varnishes, contains 90% eleostearic and 2-3% stearic acid. The ratio of stearic to eleostearic in Chinese melon seed oil is ten times greater than that in tung oil. The higher ratio should reduce the rate of drying and crosslinking and could be advantageous in the paint industry. The defatted meals contained 52-61% protein and would be a good source of methionine.
Chang, M. K.; Conkerton, E. J.; Chapital, D. C.; Wan, P. J.; Vadhwa, O. P.; Spiers, J. M.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society