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Development of a juice using a mixture of Amaranthus thunbergii for improvement of the nutritional status of the elderly citizens at Umlazi, Ethekwini municipality

Xolile Mkhize
T. Davies


This study reports on the nutritional benefits associated with Amaranthus thunbergii in a developed juice form. Processing the Amaranthus (a wild indigenous plant) with other vegetables and fruits highlights the extended uses that can be adopted to improve nutritional security in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The properties of this juice were then compared with juice made from swiss chard spinach which is mostly consumed as a green leafy vegetable in the province. The juices were taken out of a refrigerator (40C), chilled and brought to room temperature (270C) then filtered to remove solid particles. Standards and samples were analysed using the AAnalyst 400 version of the Perkin Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Amaranthus thunbergii (Imbuya) juice, coded I¹ contained 59% of magnesium contributions readily available for consumption for women (265mg) and 45% for men (350mg). Zinc contributed 15% for women (6.80mg) and 11% for the men (9.40mg) of the DRI‘s (Dietary Reference Intakes). Juice I² with Amaranthus and soybean were found to have iron contributions of 31% for women (5mg) and 24% for men (6mg) of DRIs. Amaranthus is an indigenous crop that has nutritional benefits and should become part of urbanized diets since most people are not consuming enough of it. The levels of magnesium, iron and calcium contained in the plant can play a significant role in lowering hypertension which is a common health problem amongst the elderly population within the province.

Keywords: Indigenous, amaranthus-imbuya, juice base, nutritional status,