The nutritional value of a local cultivar of Moringa oleifera leaves and its dietary evaluation in wistar albino ratsAuthor(s): I.O.Igwilo, F.C.Ezeonu, N.A.Ozumba, J.O.Nebedum, M.S.Abdulsalami
The proximate analysis and some anti-nutritional factors of the leaves of Moringa oleifera (Lam) were determined using standard analytical methods. Proximate analyses and vitamin estimation were done using the methods of theAssociation ofAnalytical Chemists. The amino acid and mineral estimations were done using the Technicon sequentialMulti-sample amino acid analyzer (TSM) and Atomic absorption spectrophotometer respectively. The leaves contained 20.00 ±4.00% fat, 27.60 ±0.20% protein, 33.93% carbohydrate, 11.60 ±6.32% ash, 6.87 ±0.86% moisture and 93.13 ±0.86% drymatter. The total energy value of the leaves was 426.12 kcal/100g. The amino acid determination showed that the leaves contained both the essential and non-essential amino acids. The Moringa oleifera leaves had higher amount of vitamin C (773.3mg/100g), and the lower levels of niacin (50.35mg/100g), pyridoxine (57.29mg/100g), riboflavin (14.82mg/100g), and thiamine (18.47mg/100g). It contained sodium(104.06mg/100g) and lower level of potassium(20.81mg/100g). The quantitative analysis showed that the leaves had higher amount of tannins (420mg/100g) and lower levels of cyanogenic glycosides (32.40mg/100g), saponins (11.8mg/100g), oxalates (7.3mg/100g) and phytates (0.66mg/100g). Growth rates for wistar albino rats fed withM. oleifera leaves increased significantly at 0.05 levels (from 46.73±3.81 to 66.59±5.27). The proximate analysis and animal feeding showed that the leaves of Moringa oleifera are nutritionally adequate for both humans and animals.