Caryodendron orinocense ('nuez de Barinas') oil: tocopherol content and use in cosmetics

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000 Oct;22(5):335-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2000.00034.x.


Preliminary studies showed the possibility of using the oil extracted from the 'nuez de Barinas' (Caryodendron orinocense Karst.) (also known as 'taque nut'), in cosmetic formulation, due to its UV absorbance spectrum as well as other physical, chemical and toxicological characteristics. Some Amerindians have used this oil as unction. The tree, also called in Venezuela 'nueza' or 'nogal de Barquisimeto', and in other countries 'Inchi' or 'taque', belongs to the Euphorbiaceae, and grows wild along the base of the Andes mountains in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. The oil presented a high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, especially linoleic acid (75.13%), which makes it susceptible to oxidation. alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocopherols are chemical compounds that have antioxidant and vitamin E activity. Tocopherols are used in cosmetics owing to these two characteristics. These properties vary depending on the isomer, the alpha-tocopherol having higher vitamin activity, while the delta-tocopherol has the highest antioxidant power, acting as free radical scavenger. The objective of this study was to assess the presence of tocopherols in the oil, as well as the emollient efficiency and activity of the oil after incorporation as a base in formulation of cosmetic products. Results showed good emollient efficiency and activity, and the presence of alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocopherols, which means that the oil will be stable in cosmetic formulations.