Proximate, Mineral and Anti-nutritional Composition of Cucurbita maxima Fruits Parts
Proximate, mineral and anti-nutritional composition of Cucurbita maxima fruit parts (seeds, coat and pulp) was carried out using standard analytical methods. The results were discussed using T-test at P≤0.05. The proximate parameters determined were crude protein, crude fibre, moisture, ash, carbohydrate, crude fat and energy value. The high values of crude protein (13.42±0.02%) and carbohydrates (58.71±0.02%) were obtained for the pulp. The coat had the highest crude fibre (6.80±0.07%) and moisture (5.51±0.05%) values while the seeds had the highest ash (3.97±0.02%), crude fat (50.96±0.06%) and energy value (616.33±0.52 Kcal/100g). The Sodium and potassium contents were determined using flame photometer model JEANWAY PFP7, while calcium, iron, manganese, zinc and copper were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer model HULK 211 and phosphorus was determined using UV/Visible spectrophotometer model 752 .High values of most of the mineral elements were from the seed sample with the exception of iron (55.98±0.04 mg/100g) and manganese (21.99±0.04 mg/100g) whose values were high in the coat while the highest value of copper (12.01±0.01 mg/100g) was obtained in the pulp The anti nutritional factors contents of the parts of the fruits of this plant were least in the seeds compared to other parts of the fruit. Thus, the seed contains more nutrient than other parts of the fruit. Therefore the fruit can be use for both plant and animal food.