Changes in proximate and phytochemical compositions of Persea americana Mill. (avocado pear) seeds associated with ripening
Persea americana (avocado pear leaves, fruits, and seeds) is one of the medicinal herbs that has been widely utilized in treating/managing disease conditions. In this study, we investigated the changes in proximate and phytochemical compositions of avocado seeds associated with ripening using standard methods. Proximate analysis showed that the ripe and unripe seeds contain appreciable quantities of moisture, ash, fibre, fat, and protein. The crude fat content was however higher in the ripe (20.1 ± 0.1%) relative to unripe (10.2 ± 0.1%). Phytochemical analyses showed the presence of saponins, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, and glycosides in both seeds, but the levels of alkaloids (4.8 ± 0.115%) and saponins (1.739 ± 0.24%) were higher in the ripe. Our results suggest that ripening significantly increased the fat, alkaloids, and saponins contents, but lowered the carbohydrate content of the seeds. Our findings also indicate that the ripe may be a better source of antioxidant compounds owing to its higher phytochemical content.
Keywords: Phytochemicals, Medicinal plants, Persea americana seeds, Proximate composition