The anti-nutritional factors in the stems of a local cultivar of moringa oleifera (lam)

Author(s): I.O.Igwilo, F.C.Ezeonu, S.C.Udedi, U.F.Umeoguaju, C.I.Nsofor, C.S.Okafor

The methods ofAssociation ofAnalytical Chemists were used to determine the levels of tannins, saponins and cyanogenic glycosides in Moringa oleifera stem, and the levels of oxalates (Munro and Bassir) and phytates (Griffith and Thomas)were also estimated. The Technicon sequentialMultisample amino acid analyzer (TSM) was used to determine the amino acid content. Tannins (100mg/100g), cyanogenic glycosides (31.40mg/100g) and oxalates (51.24mg/100g) were present in the stems at higher levels while saponins (12.10mg/100g) and phytates (0.048mg/100g) occurred at much lower levels. The stems containedcrude fat (1.770.98),crude proteins (3.590.96), carbohydrates (87.44), ash (1.630.22), moisture (5.570.35) anddrymatter (5.570.35). The total energy value of the stem was 380.05 kcal/100g. The stems contained ascorbic acid and niacin as 71.44mg/100g and 1.32mg/100g respectively, but lacked pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamine. Calcium (1.38mg/100g), Potassium, (32.4mg/100g) and sodium, (378.38mg/100g), three essential electrolytes also abound in the stems. These anti-nutritional values indicate that Moringa oleifera stem, apart fromits nutrient composition, is alsomedically and pharmacologically important. It is not a surprise that the plant is used in traditionalmedicine in Africa,Asia, andAmericas.

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