Proximate and anti-nutritional composition of leaves and seeds of Moringa oleifera in Nigeria: a comparative study
Proximate and anti-nutrient composition of the leaves and seeds of ten provenances of Moringa oleifera from parts of Nigeria, were examined at Nsukka, Nigeria in 2012. Results indicated absence of significant main effect on any of the proximate traits evaluated while protein content responded significantly to plant part, showing greater accumulation in the leaves. All anti-nutritional traits considered were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) influenced by accession. The accession from Kolo had the highest values of oxalate, phytate and tannin but recorded lowest amounts of alkaloids. The lowest values of oxalate, phytate and tannin were from Rini, Mayo-Belwa and Awo-Garaji respectively. Saponin varied from a low of 2.46% (Awo-Garaji) to a high of 3.42% (Giri). Plant part significantly influenced all evaluated anti-quality factors except phytate and tannin. Accumulation of anti-nutrients was higher in the seeds than in the leaves except for alkaloids and flavonoids. Biplot graphs indicated more clearly the pattern of association between evaluated traits and accessions. It was quite evident that while the leaves are generally more endowed with proximate attributes and lower quantities of anti-nutrients, variations in accumulation of the anti-nutrients with specific accession could indicate genetic differences that could be exploited for breeding purposes. Besides, lower anti-nutrients in leaves than seeds suggested better bioavailability of nutrient it contained and should be more preferred for consumption than seeds.
Keyword Accession, Moringa oleifera, Proximate traits, Anti-nutrients