PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING, NUTRITIONAL/ANTI-NUTRITIONAL AND AMINO ACID COMPOSITIONS OF NIGERIA MELANTHERA SCANDENSAuthor(s): O. A. OMOYENI, E. ATERIGBADE, R. O. AKINYEYE and R. A. OLOWU
Dried leaves of Melanthera scandens were analyzed for its proximate composition and the result obtained showed that, it has ash content (14.23%), moisture (7.35%) and crude protein (25.13%), crude fibre (6.59%), fat (9.43%) and carbohydrate (37.40%). The result of the phytochemical screening shows the presence of tannins, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids and cardiac glycoside. Steroid and phlobatanin were absent. The result for anti nutrients shows that it contains, tannic acid (0.11%), phytin phosphorous (5.34 mg/kg), phytic acid, (18.94 mg/kg), saponin (6.42%), alkaloids (8.90%), flavonoids (3.72%) and oxalate (3.06%). The leaves were also found to be rich in minerals like phosphorus (111.57 mg/100 g), sodium (22.41 mg/100 g), potassium (39.71 mg/100 g), calcium (30.26 mg/100 g), magnesium (42.55 mg/100 g) and zinc (37.83 mg/100 g). It also has some trace elements like iron 5.11 mg/100 g, manganese 0.22 mg/100 g, but elements like copper, cadmium, chromium and lead were not detected in the leaves. Amino acids composition on the leaves revealed an high value of glutamic acid (8.69 g/100 gcp), aspartic acid (8.63 g/100 gcp) and leucine (7.55 g/100 gcp). It has a low level of cystine (0.78 g/100 gcp), histidine (1.81 g/100 gcp), methionine (0.91 g/100 gcp) and serine (1.99 g/100 gcp). The values of isoleucine (4.03 g/100 gcp), glycine (3.15 g/100 gcp), threonine (4.09 g/100 gcp) and valine (3.93 g/100 gcp) were moderate. The amino acid composition showed correlation with some of the essential amino acid with respect to FAO/WHO provisional pattern. The results of this research indicates that the leaves of melanthera scandens plants have nutritional qualities that could provide the users and consumers with additional nutrients and the presence of phytochemicals indicated that it is a potential source of drug.