Phytochemical analysis, proximate composition and antinutritional factors of Corchorus oliterius plant
Leafy vegetables play a major in meeting the dietary requirement of an average Nigerian. The knowledge of nutritional and antinutritional properties of these local plant resources therefore becomes necessary. This study was to conduct a phytochemical analysis, determination of proximate composition and antinutritional factors of Corchorus oliterius using standard procedures. The qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponins, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids and phenols. Proximate analysis, which partitioned the nutrients into six components revealed the nutrients, thus, moisture (8.84±0.00%), ash (11.18±0.00%), crude protein (27.32±0.02%), crude fat (5.64±0.01%), and crude fibre (5.84±0.02, and nitrogen free extractives (NFE) (41.16±0.00%). Antintritional factors were recorded, thus; oxalate (241.96±0.0 2mg/100g), saponins (0.68±0.00%), tannins (18.16±0.00 mg/100g), cyanogenic glycosides (2.78±0.01 mg/100g), and phytate (0.80±0.00%). The presence of phytochemicals such as terpenoids, flavonoids alkaloids and phenols validates the use of C. olitrius in traditional and alternative medicines since phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables are generally known for being responsible for protective health benefits in man and animals. This result showed that the vegetable was a promising source of protein in human diet if well processed. All the concentrations of antinutrients were found to be within acceptable levels for human and animal consumption. However, the levels of antinutrients can be reduced by traditional processing techniques such as boiling, steaming, cooking, to make it safer for human consumption.
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Keywords: Phytochemicals, proximate analysis, antinutrients, acceptable levels