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Physicochemical analysis of the fruit of Adansonia digitata (Boababa) in Ghana
Ten samples of Adansonia digitata fruit were obtained from a farm in Adidome in the Volta Re-gion of Ghana in December 2010. The study was carried out to extract and characterize the seed oil as well as to analyze the nutritional (proximate) composition and elemental make-up of the seed and pulp of Adansonia digitata by standard methods. The L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content of the pulp was also determined titrimetrically using indophenol dye. The seed oil obtained was subjected to a series of chemical tests to determine some useful parameters of the oil such as the iodine value, peroxide value, specific gravity and refractive index etc. Light yellow seed oil which gave a yield of 15.5±0.06% was extracted from the seed using n-hexane. The physico-chemical properties of this oil gave the following results: Iodine value (82.39±0.02), Peroxide value (13.5±0.3), Acid Value (6.8±0.3), Refractive Index (1.4791±0.0001) and Specific gravity (0.95 at 280C). The seed was found to contain carbohydrate (60.48%), crude protein (7.08%) and fat (oil) (15.5±0.06%). The pulp also contained high amounts of carbohydrate (82.84±0.01%), crude fibre (4.16±0.07%), and very high ascorbic acid content (124mg/100g). Analysis of the pulp revealed that it did not contain any oil. Elemental analysis of both components of the fruit showed that Magnesium(Mg) was in highest quantity (5287mg/100g-seed, 1257mg/100g-pulp) followed by Potassium(K) (1257 mg/100g-seed, 1890 mg/100g-pulp) and Calcium (Ca) and Sodium (Na) having (398mg/100g-seed, 555mg/100g-pulp) and (320mg/100g-seed, 360mg/100g-pulp) concentrations respectively. Micronutrients, such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and chromium (Cr) were also detected. The results of the study were compared to similar studies done on the same variety of the fruit in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Nigeria.