Assessment of variability in proximate/anti-nutritive composition of cocoyam within Nigeria and Uganda
The availability of cheaper food energy sources which compares favourably with other high priced cereals is of importance and should be encouraged. This study investigated the proximate/anti-nutritive contents of cocoyam collected from Southern Nigeria and Eastern Uganda to investigate if agronomic or climatic factors play a role in its composition. The proximate/mineral composition of cormels (crude protein:0.35 – 6.9%; carbohydrates: 60.01 – 83.66%; Fe: 3.65 - 16.80 mg/100g, Zn: 1.39 – 2.45 mg/100g) show that cocoyam can conveniently replace yams and potatoes in diets due to its similar carbohydrate contents though lower in crude fibre content (0.99 – 2.80%). Cocoyam samples contained high anti-nutrients (Cyanides 0.94 – 2.16 %; Oxalates 8.45 – 181.4 mg/Kg) which may limit its utilization. An analysis of variance indicate cocoyam differ significantly (p<0.05) in proximate/anti-nutritive contents across the two locations with a higher content of crude fibre, crude protein and carbohydrates observed in samples collected in southern Nigeria.