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Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Phytochemical, inorganic and proximate composition-guided screening of maize cob, African pear seed and avocado bark, leaves and seed

E.A. Ogbonnaya, E.B. Essien

Abstract


Objective: The phytochemical composition of Zea mays (Maize) cob, Dacryodes edulis (African Pear) seed, and Persia americana (Avocado) bark, leaves and seed were determined. The inorganic composition of the bark, leaves and seed of Persia americana (Avocado) was investigated and the proximate composition of the Avocado seed also determined.

Methods: Dried and pulverized Maize cob, African Pear seeds and Avocado bark, leaves and seeds were subjected to phytochemical analysis using standard procedures. Inorganic composition was determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) and Proximate composition by method of A.O.A.C.

Results: The phytochemical analysis showed a trace concentration of alkaloids, flavonoids, and crude proteins in the maize cob. The African pear seed contained very high concentrations of flavonoid and crude protein and moderately high amounts of tannin, saponin and carbohydrate; alkaloids were low in concentration and terpenes, absent. Avocado leaves showed moderately high concentration of flavonoid and protein and trace amounts of alkaloid, terpenes and tannins. Also, moderately high concentrations of alkaloid, flavonoid and saponin were observed for Avocado bark and a trace amount of protein. While the Avocado seed contained moderately high concentration of flavonoid and protein, alkaloid and carbohydrate were present in trace amount. Sterols, glycosides and anthraquinone were absent in all samples. The inorganic composition result showed relatively high concentration of potassium (very high for seed), calcium (for bark and leaf), magnesium and sulphur in Avocado samples. The Avocado seed contained relatively high content of moisture, carbohydrate and protease inhibitor.

Conclusion: While the maize cob may not possess nutritive and pharmacological properties, the African pear seed may possess both, in addition to anti-nutritional factors. The Avocado seed may possess some pharmacological properties.

Keywords:  Zea mays,  Dacryodes edulis, Persia Americana, phytochemicals, proximate composition




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