Analysis of nutritive contents of some Nigerian fruits
Fruits are one of the oldest forms of food known to man and they present an important part of human diet in almost any culture of the world due to their high nutrients content. This study was undertaken to analyze the nutritive, minerals and energy values of some fruits such as banana (Musa esculentum), paw-paw(Carica papaya), pineapple (Ananas comosus), African mango (Irvigna gabonensis) and Avocado pear (Persia americana) that are consumed in Nigeria. The proximate composition of fruits shows that paw-paw has the highest moisture content (90.0±1.0%) while African mango has the highest ash content (13.06±1.0%). Similarly, the highest crude protein, lipid and fiber contents were recorded by avocado pea (10.0±0.2%, 2.85±0.7 and 15.81±1.0% respectively). The highest available carbohydrate content was observed in pineapple (82.57±0.8%) whereas; the highest energy values were recorded by paw-paw and pineapple (355.94±1.6 and 355.94±1.4 respectively). The results of the mineral analysis showed that Ca content was very low in all studied samples. However, appreciable amounts of K, Mg, Na and P were observed. Highest concentration of K was observed in the pulp of pineapple (436.1±4.8mg/100g) while banana pulp recorded highest amounts of Mg (81.7±1.4mg/100g). Moreover, the Na content was found to be highest in husk of avocado pear (7.3±0.7mg/100g) while the peel of banana has the highest content of P (49.0±0.5mg/100g). Comparing values of mineral elements obtained in this study with the recommended daily allowance (RDA), only K, Mg and P levels could possibly meet the stipulated requirements in these fruits. Meanwhile, the presence of mineral elements in the husks of these fruits indicates that they could be used as source of minerals in the formulation of animal feed.
Keywords: Fruits, Pulp, Husk, Proximate, Mineral elements, RDA