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Current scenario and prospects of roselle seed as functional food

Author(s): Ghazala Riaz

Functional food is becoming a part of an average consumer’s diet. The key reason for this is the growing awareness of the consumer towards health and nutritional benefits of food for diseases prevention and health improvement. This, in turn has intensified the interest of the researchers in identifying new cheaper sources especially of plant origin that could serve as functional food. Globally, roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) plant is gathering attention due to the inherent therapeutic properties in different parts of the plant that is calyces, leaves and the seeds. Roselle plant is basically grown for its fibers and calyces and the latter is used for making herbal tea, beverages, jam, jelly and natural coloring material. Roselle seeds are usually described as a by-product and have little food or industrial uses although they have the potential to be used as functional food or functional food ingredients. The present study focuses on the traditional uses, nutritional composition, anti-nutritional factor, antioxidant activity and the studies validating therapeutic uses of roselle seed so as to explore their potential uses as a functional food. The electronic database using Pubmed, Scopus and using the keywords Hibiscus sabdariffa seed oil and protein, chemical composition of roselle seed, antiinflammatory antimicrobial, antioxidant, toxicity. After scrutinizing the information from the collected literature, it was included in the study. The utility of roselle seeds has been hardly ever studied as compared to the calyces and despite the seed being the good source of protein, fiber, oil and other health-promoting components like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids, there is a dearth of information about the roselle seeds. Hence more studies should be conducted to provide the insight to exploit the roselle seeds as functional ingredients and validation of their traditional therapeutic uses

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