Nutrient content of seeds of some wild plants
AbstractThe seeds of the fruits of some wild plants; Cassipourea congoensis (Tunti), Nuclea latifolia (Luzzi), Deterium microcarpum (Tallow), Balanites aegytiaca (Betu), and Gemlin arborea (Melina) were analysed
to establish their proximate compositions and the physico-chemical characteristics of the oils. The physico-chemical characteristics measured include saponification value (SV), iodine value (IV),
peroxide value (PV), acid value (AV) and percentage free fatty acid (%FFA). Refractive index was the physical parameter measured. The iodine values of the oils were not greater than 88 g/100 g but the
saponification values were in the range 122 ± 0.14 to 201 ± 0.05 mg KOH. Proximate values of the protein, oil and carbohydrate content of the seeds suggest that they may be adequate for the formulation of animal feeds. The mineral elements present also suggest that the seeds could contribute partially to the overall daily intake of these elements, subject to knowledge of the levels of the possible toxic substances. The vitamins (A and C) found to be present in the seeds are low, though could alleviate the symptoms associated with these vitamins. The cyanogenetic glucoside contents in the seeds were analyzed to establish their proximate composition. Qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis showed that all the samples studied contain hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the form of cyanogenetic glucoside in quantities varying from 2.51 ± 0.31 mg/100g of dried sample for D.
microcarpum to 3.75 ± 0.02 mg/100g for G. arborea. The aglycone for all the glucoside detected was found to be benzaldehyde.