African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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The nutrient content of two folia morphotypes of Centella asiatica (L) grown in Madagascar

Z. Ranovona, C. Mertz, C. Dhuique-Mayer, A. Servent, M. Dornier, P. Danthu, C. Ralison


Centella asiatica is a herbal plant generally used for its curative properties. Two foliar morphotypes were recently identified in Madagascar: a reniform tetraploid (2n = 4x = 36) in the Center and the East of the island and a round diploid (2n = 2x = 18) in the West. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional properties of these two morphotypes and to compare them with other green leafy vegetables. Reniform leaves were collected in Antananarivo and Moramanga and round leaves were collected in Tsiroanomandidy and Analavory. Macronutrient content was determined by standard methods, mineral contents were analysed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. Ascorbic acid and carotenoids were quantified by HPLC. Food composition showed significant differences between the morphotypes. Reniform leaves have higher protein content (19–22 % dry weight (DW)) than round leaves (17–21 % DW). Lipid content are from 2.5 to 6.0 % DW. Reniform leaves have higher iron content than round leaves. Iron content of C. asiatica’s leaves range from 3.8 to 12.5 mg/100 g fresh weight (FW). Reniform leaves from Moramanga have the highest protein, lipid and iron content. Round leaves from Analavory have the highest calcium and magnesium content, which can cover 41 % and 17 % of the Recommended Dietary Allowances(RDA), respectively. Leaves of C. asiatica have low vitamin C content (1.3 to 7.7 mg/100 g FW). Consumption of 100 g of C. asiatica leaves could cover 10 to 21 % of vitamin A daily requirements of women for reniform leaves and 21 to 37 % of vitamin A requirement of women for round leaves. Round leaves from Analavory have the highest β-carotene content. It is hoped that from these findings, the people of Madagascar will be encouraged to include C. asiatica in their diets for its nutritional benefits.

Keywords: Centella asiatica, reniform leaves, round leaves, protein, lipid, vitamin A, minerals, amino acids

Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 2019; 19(3): 14654-14673

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