The ability of raw and processed cowpeas to support growth in weanling wistar strain rats

  • Z.M. Ofuya

Abstract

The ability of raw and processed (boiled and autoclaved) cowpeas (vigna anguiculala walp.) to promote growth in female weanling wistar rats was studied with the hope that they can be used as a component of weaning food. The result showed that all the test diets supported growth as indicated by the weight gain in the rats. The raw and processed cowpea diets caused a slight pancreatic enlargement. Apparent digestibility of dry matter (96.8%) of the control group of rats fed a casein-maize starch diet was significantly higher (P< 0.01) than that of the other test diets. Energy Digestibility (DE) for the control diet was 97.58%, whereas that for the various cowpea diets ranged from 87.4 + 0.44 88.88 + 0.88%. The digestibility of starch in the rats fed raw and autoclaved cowpeas was 99%. Nitrogen was poorly digested (83.33 2.5 84.75 1.2%) in all the test diets while digestibility in the control diet was 93.4%. Based on these results, cowpeas promoted growth in rats and possibly can contribute to the energy and protein needs of the weanling infant if properly processed.

(Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences: 2002 8(4): 501-506)
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