1.1 Common Name :
Sanskrit : Koshamra, Kripi, Kshudramra; Hindi : Kusum,
Jamoa, Suma, Kosum Gousom; A.P. : Busi, Mavita
Vithi, Pusku; Karnataka : Sagade, Kendela; Kerala:
Puvam; Tamil Nadu : Pama Pulachi, Pumaratha; Gujarat;
Kosum, Kosumb, kochan; Maharashtra : Koshimb,
Kosam; Punjab and Haryana: Somma, Jammar,
Jausam, Kusum; Orissa : Kusamo, Rusam, Swad,
Kusum; West Bengal : Kusum, Kosano, Jalpai, Keoda;
English : Ceylon Oak; Trade ; Macasar (Oil).
Carthamus tinctorius, (Safflower, Karadi, Kusbi,
Kushamba, Sendurkam) is also known as Kusum
which is a shrub, an annual crop of edible oilseed
other than the above perennial tree under reference.
1.2 Botanical Names :
Schleichera trijuga Wild (Sapindaceae) Schleichera
oleosa – one of the lesser host of lac insects.
1.3 Habitat :
In India : Dry to deciduous mixed forests in the sub-
Himalayan tract upto 914 metres altitude in North,
Central and South India; also grown for ornaments,
for lac and seed oil.
Other Countries : Throughout Indo-Malaysian region,
Burma & Sri Lanka.
1.4 Propagation : Seed & Root-Suckers
1.5 Promising States :
A.P., Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, M.P.,
Orissa, U.P., West Bengal
1.6 Sowing time : July
2.1 The Tree :
Medium to large, deciduous evergreen tree, trunk
short, fluted; dense, shady crown; largely cultivated
as a host tree for best grade lac insects. Height
: 12 to 15 mt. Matures : in 10 to 15 years. Wood
: useful as hard wood. Leaves : good fodder for which
the tree is oftern lopped. Medicinal: bark tannin and
2.2 Flowers :
February-April, minute, yellowish green, stalkless,
borne in dense clusters, yield a dye, source of honey
for honey bees.
2.3 Fruits :
Season in June-July, berries are smooth or slightly
prickly, globose or ovoid, hard skinned berry with
a pointed tip; Size : 1.25-2.5X1.1-1.8 cms.; one celled
contains 1 or 2 irregularly ellipsoidal slightly compressed
seeds with a thick brown seedcoat; very
little pulp, which is eaten for getting cooling effect.
Moisture ; 4 to 5% in seed. Oil Content : 25 to 38%
2.3.1 Collection Period : June
2.3.2 Collection and Preprocessing :
Bunches of fruit plucked by climbing the trees, before
they fall down; depulped by rubbing in water and dried;
sold as seeds; Collection per day per person: During
fruiting season from Jun-Oct, about 28 to 37 kgs
of Seeds per tree.
2.3.3 Composition :
Oil : 34% (seed), Protein : 22%
2.3.4 Potential :
Seed : 0.80 lakh MT, Oil : 0.25 lakh MT
2.4 Specification for Seeds : See Table 1
Kusum Seeds for Oil Milling*
Shrivelled, immature and damaged 4.0
seeds, % Max
Moisture Content, % Max 6.0
Oil Content (moisture free basis), % Min 38.0
Acid Value of Extracted oil, Max 10.0
* See IS : 5294 – 1969 (Reaffirmed 2000)
60-64% in nuts, 15.31% of dried fruit, U shaped,
soft; Oil Content : 51 to 52%; susceptible to fungal
attack. Moisture : 3 to 6%
3.1 Processing and Extraction :
After decortication, kernel is crushed in ghani giving
25 to 27% oil in first crushing and 2 to 5% after
hot water sprinkling on the cake , and second
crushing; yield in expeller 36%.
In 2007-08, 427 M.T. of Seed was processed into
42 MT of oil & 395 MT of Extractions.
Kusum oil is indeed of an unusual nature with just
37% of common glycerol esters.
Oil Contains Oleic acid (60%), Linoleic acid (3-4%),
Stearic acid (2-6%) & Palmitic acid (5-8%).
The oil containes hydrocyanic acid which is poisonous
hence not used for edible purpose. Kusum oil is a
yellowish brown Semi-solid, with faint odour of bitter
almonds, when allowed to settledown, light coloured
solid fat separates out & settles down. Oil used
for hair dressing, culinary & lighting purposes. Also
used for lubricants & in skin troubles. Oil is used
as hair oil and also in soap making due to its hard
consistancy and lathering ability.
4.1 Oil Composition :
Kusum (seed) oil is not a regular triglyceride oil. It
is a mixture of triglycerides and cyanolipids of which
58% are esters of cyanolipid I and 5% is cyanolipid
II. The oil composition is given in Table 2.
Kusum (Seed) Oil Composition
Cyanolipid I 58
Cyanolipid II 5
4.2 Fatty Acid Composition : See Table 3
Fatty Acid Composition of Kusum (Seed) Oil
Fatty Acid (%)
Myristic C14:0 1.0
Palmitic C16:0 5.3-8.7
Stearic C18-0 1.7-6.3
Arachidic C20:0 20-31
Lignoceric C24:0 1.5-3.5
Oleic C18:1 40-67
Linoleic C18:2 2.5-5.2
4.3 Specification For Kusum (seed) Oil:
Seed Table 4.
Kusum (Seed) Oil*
Moisture and Insoluble 0.25
impurities, % Max
Colour, 1/4 in cell Lovibond 25
Refractive Index at 50°C 1.456 to 1.460
Specific Gravity at 95°C/30°C 0.865-0.869
Saponification Value 220 to 240
Iodine Value 48 to 60
Acid Value, Max 10
Unsaponifiable Matter % Max 3.0
Titre °C Min 45
Reichert-Meisst Value 15 to 20
Polensike Value, Max 1.5
* See IS : 4088 – 1966 (Reaffirmed 2004)
4.4 Uses :
Used upto 15% in soap as this soap its gives better
lather and feel, mostly used by small soap units. In
big units glycerine recovery machines get corroded
due to cyanogenetic compounds in the oil, which yield
sodium cyanide on saponfication by caustic soda.
Selective-cyanolipid-spitting process or fatty acid
route are useful. Used as hair oil, stimulaent effect
on scalp, used as lubricant. Resistent to rancidity,
roughing action on skin, hence used in certain proportion
Amino Acids in Cake : Lysine 4.2%
Val – Methionine – 6.5%, Cysline – 2.90%
Threonine – 7.3%, Phenyi Nanine – 3.8%
As Manuare: N: 5.5%, P: 2.08%, K: 1.13%, good
As Cattle Feed : 22% protein; investigation necessary;
toxic components may inhabit this use. As
6. Usage Summary
Oil : Soaps, Medicines, Lubricants,
Illumination, External massage in
rheumatism, Hair dressing, cure for itch,
acne, burns & other skin troubles.
Cake : Fertiliser, as Nematicide Fuel.
Tree : Wood useful as timber, tree yields