Inhibitory effect of cashew (Anacardium occidentale) cotyledon oil was carried out using Escherichia Coli as test organism. The processed and loasted cashew nuts were bought and subjected to oil extraction using the soxhlet method. The extracted oil was absorbed on filter paper discs in varying concentrations and placed on seeded nutrient agar plates. The plates were incubated at 370C for 24 to 48 hours and observed for zones of inhibitation. The results obtained showed that there was a 26.78% yield of the oil. The cashew cotyledon oil was not soluble in 99% ethanol. There were no inhibitory zones on the taste plate indicating that the cashew oil had no inhibition effect on E. coli, the test organism. This shows that due to non-dissolution the cotyledon oil does not have inhibitory characteristic on the test organism inoculated on the plate.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The cashew tree is evergreen, and serves as food to many in so many ways in that all the parts are consumable and they are highly medicinal. The trees are most frequently found in coastal areas. It grows up to 12 meters high and has a spread of 25 meters. Its extensive root system allows it to tolerate a wide range of moisture levels and soil types, although, commercial production is advisable only in well-drained, sandy, loam and red soil (Denny et al 2000).
The main commercial product of the cashew trees is the nut. In the main producing area of East Africa and India, 95% or more of the apple crop is not eaten, as the taste is not popular. However, in some parts of South America and West Africa, local inhabitants regard the apple, rather than the nut kernel, as a delicacy. In Brazil, the apple is used to manufacture jams, and alcoholic drinks (Douglas, 2005).
The cashew fruit (Anacardium Occidentale the family of Anacardiaceae) is unusual in comparison with other trees nuts since the nut is outside the fruit. The cashew apple is an edible false fruit, attached to the externally boom nut by a stem. In its raw state, the shell of the nut is leathery, not brittle. It contains the thick vesicant oil, a thin taste skin surrounding the kernel and keeps it separated from the inside of the shell. The primary products of cashew nuts are the kernels which have value as confectionery nuts. Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) is an important industrial raw material for resin manufacture and the shells can be burned to provide heat for the decorticating operation.