Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Nutrient and phytochemical composition of red and yellow tropical almond (Terminalia catappa) seed flour

H.O. Okudu, L.P. Mene


Background: Fruits and vegetables are very good sources of micronutrients and phytochemicals; most fruits are however underutilized because information on their chemical composition are either too scanty or are lacking.

Objective: The study was designed to determine the nutrient and phytochemical composition of two varieties of tropical almond seeds.

Methods: Ripe fruits of tropical almond (Terminalia catappa) of red and yellow varieties were collected from National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike in Abia state, Nigeria. The pulp was scraped off manually to obtain the nuts. The nuts were then sun dried (29-32oC) for 3days and cracked open manually to obtain the seeds. The seeds were oven dried and milled and sieved into flour with 5mm sieve size. The nutrient compositions were determined using AOAC techniques. Gravimetric and spectrophotometric methods were used for phytochemical determinations.

Results: Protein (23.37%) and fat (33.52%) of the yellow variety were higher than those of the red variety (21.47% and 32.60%, respectively). Most abundant minerals and vitamins were magnesium (192.77- 194.62mg/100g), phosphorus (372.82- 375.70mg/100g), potassium (438.63-452.72mg/100g) and β-carotene (2770-2147μg/100g). All phytochemicals analysed were quite low in the 2 varieties of tropical almond seeds.

Conclusion: Moisture, fat and fibre values were similar in the samples. Phosphorus, iron, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C contents were not significantly (p>0.05)different in the two varieties, however the red variety contained more carbohydrate and significantly higher calcium, magnesium and phosphorus while the yellow variety had more protein and significantly higher β-carotene.

Keywords: Tropical almond, seed, nutrient, phytochemical, varieties

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