Pungam is also called as Karanj oil - is widely distributed in tropical India. The tree is hardy and came well in poor soil under drought conditions too. The oil is used in pharmacy and in agriculture. Like, neem oil, it has insecticidal, antiseptic, antiphrastic and cleansing properties. Pungam is native of western ghats in India. Seeds of this medium-sized glamorous tree is mainly valued for the oil obtained from them which has pesticide and medicinal uses. Recent years pungam oil is used for biodiesel purposes. There are claims that pungam is the best for biodiesel when compared to Jetropha or any other non-edible oil used in biodiesel industry.
Pungam Oil Used In Agriculture as bio-pesticides:
For the past five decades synthetic chemical based insecticides have played important and beneficial roles in the control of agricultural pests and the reduction of insect borne diseases. Their use will remain essential for many more years. Nonetheless, insecticides also pose real hazards. Some leave undesirable residues in food, water, and the environment. Low doses of many insecticides are toxic to humans and other animals, and some insecticides are suspected to be carcinogens. As a result, many researchers, farmers, and homeowners are seeking less hazardous alternatives to conventional synthetic insecticides.
Pungam oil is the best alternative for synthetic chemicals.
Pungam oil composition is once again alkaloids viz.,
demethoxy-kanugin, gamatay, glabrin, glabrosaponin, kaempferol, kanjone, kanugin, karangin, neoglabrin, pinnatin, pongamol, pongapin, quercitin, saponin, b-sitosterol, and tannin.
Air-dry kernels have 19.0% moisture, 27.5% fatty oil, 17.4% protein, 6.6% starch, 7.3% crude fiber, and 2.4% ash.
Fatty acid composition:
palmitic, 3.7–7.9%, stearic 2.4–8.9%, arachidic 2.2–4.7%, behenic 4.2–5.3%, lignoceric 1.1–3.5%, oleic, 44.5–71.3%, linoleic 10.8–18.3%, and eicosenoic 9.5–12.4%.