Michigan State University
Twelve species of Palmae seeds have been examined for (a) fat content, (b) fatty acid composition of the triglycerides, and (c) positional distribution of the fatty acids within the triglycerides. There is a direct correlation between the values of these parameters and the botanical sub-families within the Palmae. Cocoideae species have a high fat content (44-72%), a high level of 12:0 (38-56 mole %), a low level of unsaturated acids (6-19 mole %), and appreciable esterification of 12:0 and 14:0 at the 2-position of the triglycerides. Coryphoideae and Phoenicoideae species exhibit a low fat content (3-14%), an intermediate level of 12:0 (15-29 mole %), a high level of unsaturated acids (45-61 mole %), and preferential esterification of 12:0 and 14:0 at the 1,3-positions of the triglycerides. Arecoideae species show a wide variation in the values of these parameters. Two hypotheses on the possible causes of these relationships are presented. © 1970.