Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in Food Chemistry 126:1 (May 1, 2011), pp. 15–20; doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.10.024 Copyright © 2010 Vicki Schlegel, Richard Zbasnik, Tammy Gries, Bo Hyun Lee, Timothy Carr, Ji-Young Lee, Curtis Weller, and Susan Cuppett. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


The floss and oil of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.) seeds are currently used to produce comforters/pillows and skin care products, respectively. As an outcome of these products, copious quantities co-products (pressed seed meal and pod biomass) are disposed of each year despite the presence of potential health benefiting lipids. The objective of this project was to determine the feasibility of developing the lipid fraction from of these co-products for the fast growing dietary human health market. Although certain types of lipids were affected by the extraction solvent used (hexane and diethyl ether) as were overall amounts, analysis of the each extract showed novel lipid profiles with several potential health benefiting agents present at levels comparable to or exceeding those present in other typically consumed dietary oils or food systems (vitamin E, carotenoids, sterols and unsaturated free fatty acids, particularly the both omega 7-fatty acids).