CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the study
Fluted pumpkin is a very important vegetable that is popular in West Africa. It belongs to the family Telfaria Occidentalis Hook F. cucurbitaceae. It is a leafy vegetable that produces fruits. (Enabulele and Uavbarhe, 2001). Tindall, (1989) defined leafy vegetables as herbaceous plants used for culinary purposes. They are used to increase the dietary quality of soups. The fruit on full maturity has a weight of 10kg. and an appearance of 10 distinctive longitudinal ribs on the surface. It is popular in West Africa. The edible part of this vegetable are the large red seeds, leaves and young shoots used for traditional soup. Protein rich seed can be roasted or grounded for use in porridge. The flesh of the fruit has good oil content which can be used as cooking oil. Although fluted pumpkin is a minor oil crop it possesses healing properties that have been found effective in boosting blood levels and also in maintaining bone mineral density in older men when more of the seeds are consumed. It’s important role in ensuring food security for the populace has not been overlooked by the present administration through the 7 point agenda. Fluted pumpkin consumption has improved over the years and it is an important component of the daily diets of Nigerians (Okoli and Mgbeogu, 1983). Due it’s hypolipidemic action, it lowers blood cholesterol and thus protects from a large range of associated complications like cardiac problems, hypertension and diabetes Margret, (2011).