This research aimed at investigating the effects of extraction parameters on the extraction efficiency and chemical characteristics of Trungdu tea (Camellia sinensis O. Kuntze) seed oil, which is similar to olive oil with high portion of unsaturated fatty acids, especially essential linoleic acid and low content of saturated fat. The study parameters were particle size (0.25 - 2.00 mm), material/solvent ratio (1/12 - 1/6), temperature (25 - 55 oC), time (5 - 11 h), speed of solvent movement (0 - 250 r/m) and extraction times (1 - 3 times). The responses such as extraction efficiency, physicochemical characteristics (acid, peroxide, iodine and saponification values) were determined. The results indicated that the extraction efficiency was affected by all designed parameters. In addition, the temperature, particle size and extraction time had the most significant effect on the iodine value and acid value. The extraction temperature and the speed of solvent movement had pronounced effects on the acid, peroxide, iodine and saponification values of tea seed oil. However, ratio of material/solvent and extraction times did not appreciably affect on physicochemical characteristics of tea seed oil. Furthermore, the optimal extraction efficiency with higher quality attributes was achieved in the range of 35 to 45 oC, 7 to 9 hours, with a particle size of 0.5 mm, material/content ratio 1/8 to 1/12, movement speed of solvent 200 to 250 r/m and 2 times extraction. Therefore, the results from this work will be useful for developing an optimal procedure for obtaining tea seed oil. In addition, fatty acid composition of tea seed oil presented high content of oleic acid and linoleic acid, which warrants the high quality oil in terms of fatty acid profile.
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