Spices and food condiments in Niger-Delta region of Nigeria
Spices and food condiments studies here have both local and international values and recognition. Forty seven crop species commonly used as spices and condiments in the rainforest ecosystem of the Niger delta region of Nigeria were evaluated. The study revealed that leafy vegetables are richer in crude protein (CP) than the spices and bulb. However, all these crops are rich in minerals, relatively low in crude fibre (CF), phylate, oxalate and tannin. Hence they need to form part of our daily diet. Gongronema latiffora had the highest concentration of CP (34.07%) and ash (15.50%), while the least was Allium cepa with 1.55% CP and 0.60% ash. Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), sodium (Na) and iron (Fe) were the most available minerals. These crops are natural and contain mainly minerals and vitamins and sometimes stimulants and protein which are curative. Herbal medical practitioners are always in love with these plants because they add value to life when properly used and bring income to the farmers that cultivate them. There is need to intensify the cultivation of these crop species in all parts of Nigeria where they grow very well.
Key words: Spices, food condiments, Niger Delta.