Main Article Content

Appraisal of the nutritional potential and safety of wild vegetables of South Africa

Thozama N. Kwinana-Mandindi


The contribution made by wild edible plants, food baskets and diets is vital to the indigenous communities from the Eastern Cape (EC) province of South Africa. The article is based on the evaluation and assessment levels of antinutritional factors saponin, calcium oxalate and glycol-alkaloids in selected wild vegetables in the Amathole District, EC. This experimental study used Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-Ray Elemental by Energy Dispensive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Quantitative Screening for Alkaloids and Saponins. Anova and post-hoc Duncan tests were used for multiple comparisons of means across ≥3 groups. Main types of morphology of glandular trichomes were deposits of calcium oxalate and lower standard levels of saponins, alkaloids, phytates, oxalates and tannins. Additional research related to food safety of these wild plants and the burden of non-communicable diseases in the EC province is necessary.

Keywords: Appraisal, nature’s resource, safety, SEM, wild vegetables.