Red palm oil was tested for the reactivity of its components with CN-, and alkaline picrate as the color developing reagent. Palm oil components have a low-level absorbance at 490 nm which is reduced significantly (p< or =0.01) after reaction with CN-. Hydrolysis of palm oil components, and reaction of the hydrolysis products with CN- significantly increased the absorbance at 490 nm. In contrast, after reaction of palm oil with alkaline picrate, the absorbance at 490 nm is very high; this is reduced significantly by reaction with CN-, hydrolysis with 0.2 M NaOH, and reaction of the hydrolysis products with CN- before treatment with alkaline picrate. The results indicate that palm oil component(s) sequester CN- into a complex which may not be correctly estimated during cyanide quantification, resulting in the absence, or low levels of cyanide in palm oil-fried gari as earlier reported.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 02/1999; 53(3):249-53. DOI:10.1023/A:1008053813164