Some aspects of the nutritional properties of the seed and raw seed oil of Hura crepitans
Hura crepitans were studied in order to compliment information available in the literature and establish whether the oil can be used as edible oil, and the seed in food modifications and formulations. The seeds were collected along Nwaniba Road in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The oil was cold-extracted with n-hexane and used in the analysis of antinutrients and vitamins. The defatted seed flour was used in the determination of amino acids. The amino acids, vitamins and antinutrients were determined using standard methods. The results reveal that the antinutrients levels in the seed oil are relatively higher than their corresponding levels in conventional edible seed oils except phytate and oxalate. The oil is very rich in vitamin C compared to mustard and sunflower seed oils which are also edible oils. The seeds are richer in amino acids than the seeds of A. hypogaea, and E. guineensis which are conventionally used as food materials and their oils in cooking and frying. They are particularly rich in the essential amino acids except valine. The amino acids contents of the seeds compare reasonably (about 82%) with whole hen’s egg. Although H. crepitans seeds are rich in amino acids and the oil in vitamin C, the high tannins and cyanide levels in the seed oil would limit its use in nutrition. However, the seed flour can be beneficial in food fortification processes and animal feeds production.
Keywords: Hura crepitans, Seed flour, Raw seed oil, Antinutrients, Vitamins, Amino acids, Essential amino acids