Constituents of Kawal, fermented Cassia obtusifolia leaves, a traditional food from Chad

  • M Mbaiguinam
  • Y Mahmout
  • M Tarkodjiel
  • B Delobel
  • J-M Bessiere
Keywords: Cassia obtusifolia, leguminous, fermented leaves, food, volatiles, amino acids, trace elements


Femented leaves of Cassia obtusifolia are used as a substitute of meat or an appetizing agent by people of eastern of Chad and south of Sudan. Chemical composition of the methylene chloride extract from the fermented leaves of this legume was analyzed for the first time by GC and GC/MC. Thirty three
constituents were identified. The major components are found to be aliphatic acids and identified as hexanoic acid (27%), butyric acid (10.4%) and valeric acid (6.3%) with lesser amounts of p-ethylphenol (17.2%) and p-methylphenol (13%). Examination of the protein fraction from leaves indicated 20.2% in
the crude leaves and 12.9% in the fermented leaves. The participation of 10 g of fermented C. obtusifolia leaves to the daily requirements in essential amino acids of an adult is from 13 to 25% of needed amount. Moreover this traditional food had a high content of potassium and calcium.

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eISSN: 1684-5315