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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 6 (2004) pp 366-369

Isolation of Oil of Nutmeg and Trimyristin from Nutmeg

Robert Duarte, Janne T. Nielsen, and Veljko Dragojlovic*,

Department of Math, Science, and Technology, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314 and Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University, 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania, FL 33004,
Received July 14, 2004. Accepted September 2, 2004.

Published online: 8 October 2004

Abstract. In a single three-hour experiment students isolate oil of nutmeg by steam distillation of nutmeg and trimyristin by solid–liquid extraction from the residue. Warm ethanol is used as a safe and inexpensive solvent to extract pure trimyristin in good yield. In the following three-hour experiment students hydrolyze trimyristin and isolate myristic acid. They evaluate the purity of the isolated materials and success of the saponification by thin-layer chromatography. Myristic acid is identified from its melting point.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; lipids; natural products; plant chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (193 KB) HTML format

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Supporting Materials:

Additional information for the instructors, experimental details and the handout to students are available in the one compressed ZIP file (213 KB).

Issue date: December 1, 2004

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