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PROJECT TOPIC: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF SOME LESSER-KNOWN WILD FRUITS AND VEGETABLES CONSUMED IN AYAMELUM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE

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ABSTRACTThe study identified some edible fresh wild green leafy vegetables and fruits and determined their nutrients, antinutrients and food toxicants content. The proximate, micronutrients, antinutrients and food toxicants contents of these fruits (Olax viridis (“Osenga”),Gongronema species (“Aado”), Ficus carpensis (“Akankolo”), Napoleona/imperialis (“Ukpodikili”), Afromonum species) (“Okwocha”) and vegetables Vitex doniana (“Uchkulu”) and Ficus carpensis) were determined using standard methods. The moisture content of the fruits ranged from 59.83 to 75.40% in Olax viridis (“Osenga”) and Gongronema species, (“Aado”) respectively. Olax viridis (“Osenga”) fruits had high levels of protein (6.52%),ash (12.52%),and fibre (13.58%).Fiscus crapensis (“Akankolo”) fruit contained appreciable quantities of ascorbate (36.mg).Gongronema species fruit is rich in iron (23.50mg), phosphorus (44.66mg), copper (14.06mg) and zinc(12.43mg). The fruits equally contained high levels of phytate (12.60-108mg) in Gongronema species (“Aado”) and Olax viridis (“Osenga”).

Afromonum species (“Okwocha”) had high oxalate (127.22mg). Tannins and saponins levels of the fruits were low (0.05-0.12mg and 0.02-0.30mg), respectively. Ficus carpensis (“Akankolo”) leaf had high moisture (60.44%) and low protein (2.18%), fat (3.42%), ash (10.5%),fibre(8.91%) .Vitex doniana (“Uchakulu”) had less than 50% carbohydrate (35.74%) and high fibre(11.45%). Vitex doniana (“Uchakulu”) leaf contained appreciable amounts of β-carotene (67.83mg), and Fiscus carpensis (“Akankolo”) leaf had lower B-carotene (27.94mg) relative to that of Vitex doniana (“uchakulu”) .07.83mg. The ascorbate level (67.83mg) was high in Vitex doniana. Vitex doniana leaf had appreciable quantities of phosphorus (28.63mg) and high oxalate level (128.56mg). Saponins (0.02mg) and tannins (0.12mg) were low in the two vegetables. The edible lesser-known wild fruits and vegetables can contribute much more nutrients especially micro nutrients to the diet of families in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State. The antinutrients phytate,oxalate, tannin and saponin levels of the fruits and vegetables were at safe levels. Increasedconsumption of these foods is advocated.


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