Phytochemical constituents and nutritional evaluation of three selected edible flowers in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
The study examined the bioactive phytochemical and nutritional compositions of Hibiscus rosasinensis, Moringa oleifera and Musa paradisiaca flowers collected from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria. Various researches suggest that some flowers are eaten by man since ancient times and have therapeutic properties as well as nutritional value. Fresh flowers were collected, washed, dried and ground into powder for analysis. The results of the phytochemical screening revealed the presence of Flavonoids, Tannins, Saponins, Phenols, Terpenoids, Phlobatannins, Cardiac glycosides, Anthraquinones and Steroids in M. oleifera and M. paradisiaca flowers while Flavonoids, Alkaloids, Tannins, Phenols and Terpernoids were absent in H. rosasinensis. Quantitatively, M. oleifera and M. paradisiaca contained (mg/100g) Tannins 54.61 and 48.93, Saponins 46.51 and 25.42, and Phenols 44.37 and 36.09 respectively. H. rosasinensis contained 63.03mg/100g saponins while the estimated quantity of flavonoids in M. paradisiaca was 17.98mg/100g. The percentage estimation of the proximate composition of the three flowers revealed carbohydrate values ranging from 49.01 to 61.11, crude protein 1.90 - 3.07, crude fiber 17.27 - 29.00, ash 1.89 - 3.34, crude fat 3.36 - 5.60 and moisture content 12.37 - 13.66. All the flowers showed high level of mineral elements in order of Na>K>Ca >Cu>Fe>Mn>Mg and Zn while Pb and Ni found in M. oleifera and M. paradisiaca were below the permissible level and considered safe for human consumption. The presence of phytochemical in the flowers suggests possible preventive and curative property of the flowers. Also, the flowers are rich in carbohydrate, fiber and minerals hence can be fortified as supplementary food for man and livestock feeds.
Keywords: Ekiti State, Flower, Nutritional composition, Phytochemical, Supplementary food