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1.0       INTRODUCTION  

  • Background to the Study

Margarine, a butter substitute made originally from other animal fats, but nowadays exclusively from vegetable oils, through homogenization and pasteurization is a reach innovation. Most margarine has less saturated fat and no synthetic trans-fats (Stanton, 2008). According to Kanes (2005), margarine is water in oil emulsion. Today it is a manufactured imitation of butter made by mixing a variety of fats that may include whale oil or vegetable oil.

Like its model, margarine is about 80% fat, 20% water and solids (Douma, 2008). It is flavoured, coloured and fortified with vitamin A and sometimes D to match butters nutritional qualities. Single oil or a blend may be used. During World War 1, coconut oil was favoured, in the thirties, it was cotton seed, and in the fifties, soy. Today, soy and corn oils predominate. The raw oil is pressed from the seeds, purified, hydrogenated, then fortified and coloured, either with a synthetic carotene or with annatto, a pigment extracted from a tropical seed. The oil is pressed from seeds and refined. Emulsifiers such as lecithin help disperse the water phase evenly throughout the oil, salt and preservatives are also commonly added. The mixture of oil and water is then heated, blended, and cooled. The softer tub margarines are made with less hydrogenated, more liquid oils than other types of margarines (Anon, 2009).

            In 1860s French Emperor Louis Napoleon III offered a prize to anyone who could make satisfactory substitutes for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes. French chemist Hippolyte Mege-Mouriezi invented a substance he called oleomargarine, which become, in shortened form, the trade name margarine and is now the generic term for a wide range of broadly similar edible oils. It is sometimes shortened to oleo which was made by taking clarified beef fat, extracting the liquid portion under pressure, and allowing it to solidify. When combined with butyrins and water, it made a cheap palatable butter substitute sold as margarine or under any of a host of other trade names, butter substitutes soon became big business but too late to help Mege-Mouriez. Although he expanded his initial manufacturing operation from France to the United States in 1873, he had little commercial success. By the end of the decade, however, artificial butters were on sale in both the old World and the new (Anon, 2009).

            Margarine is naturally white or almost white; by forbidding the addition of artificial colouring agents. The bans became common place around the world and would endure for almost 100 years. It did not become legal to sell coloured margarine in Australia, for example, until the 1960s. In the mean time, margarine manufactures had made changes. Modern margarine can be made from any of a wide variety of animal or vegetable fats, and is often mixed with skim milk, salt and emulsifiers. Liquid fats are transformed into suitable substrates by the chemical process of hydrogenation, which renders them solid at room temperature. Many popular table spreads today are blends of margarine and butter (Baker and Ranken, 1997).

Margarine, particularly polyunsaturated margarine has become a major part of the Western diet, for example, in 1930 the average person ate over 8kg of butter a year and just over 1 kg of margarine but by the end of the 20th century, an average American ate just under 2kg of butter and nearly 4kg of margarine (Anon, 2009). Margarine usually tops butter when it comes to heart health. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains unsaturated "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). These types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol when substituted for saturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, so it contains more saturated fat (Gillman, 2015). Edible vegetable oils are used as salad or cooking oils, or may be solidified (by a process called hydrogenation) to make margarine and shortening.


1.2 Problem Statement

Melon is an important oil seed and perennial crop widely cultivated in many part of Africa, yet despite the large productivity and nutritional potentials of this crop, the processing and utilization is low. Agro-processing has concentrated majorly on the production of margarine from vegetable oils such as groundnut oil, peanut, corn oil and soybean oil while neglecting melon. Production of margarine or oil from melon seed oil is minimal since its utilization has not been promoted and has not been given much attention despite its enormous potential. Also, Over the years, the consumption of fat and oil products like butter produced from animal source has pose a major problem for the human body system causing increase in the level of cholesterol in the body which causes coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, e.t.c. Some plant oils such as soybean, coconut, groundnut, and olive oil has been used in the production of oils and margarine which have less effect to human health but melon is rarely used.

1.3 Aim and Objectives


The research is aimed at production and quality evaluation of margarine produced from melon seed oil


The objectives of this research are to:

  1. formulate and produce margarine samples from melon seed oil
  2. determine the physical properties (specific gravity, odour) of the margarine sample produced
  3. evaluate the chemical components of the margarine sample produced
  4. carry out sensory evaluation on the margarine samples,


1.4 Justification

The completion of this research will create a pathway in the prevention of some health problems associated with coronary heart disease caused by increase in the level of blood cholesterol in the body system due to the consumption of fat and oil from animal source owing to the fact that melon is from a plant source and it also ensures a good supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids that has protective layer against coronary heart diseases and also improves insulin sensitivity. The utilization of this plant (melon seed) oil in the production of margarine will help provide a means for people in consuming fats and oil in a healthy way and also improves agricultural sector by encouraging melon farmers as melon is an important component of most Nigerian diets.


1.5 Scope

   The scope of this research is to produce margarine samples from melon seed oil using mechanical press method to extract the oil and to determine the physical properties of the margarine such as the specific gravity, spreadability, and consistency, the chemical Analysis such as the free fatty acid, iodine value and, peroxide value as well as the sensory evaluation based on the taste, flavor and overall acceptability.