Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Chemical and sensory assessment of Ujuju (Myrianthus arboreus) leaf and soup

P.O. Ukegbu, J.O Okebugwu


Background: Micronutrient deficiency is a major challenge around the globe. Consumption of traditional leafy vegetables has been identified as one of the strategies towards alleviating micronutrient deficiency.
Objective: The study determined the chemical composition of Myrianthus arboreus (ujuju) leafand sensory properties of soups prepared with the vegetable.
Methods: Fresh leaves of Myrianthus arboreus were obtained from farmlands in Oboro, Ikwuano, processed and analyzed for proximate, vitamin, mineral and anti-nutrient composition. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)soups were prepared using standard recipe and leaves of Myrianthus arboreus (OUJ) and Telfeira occidentalis (OUG) added to the soups. Sensory evaluation was done on the soup samples with Telfeira occidentalis soup as control (OUG). Data obtained were analyzed and expressed as means (standard deviation) and T-test was used to determine differences in sensory scores of the soup samples.
Results: The result of the proximate analysis revealed that Myrianthus arboreus leaf had 66.1g moisture, crude lipid 0.96g, ash 6.02g, carbohydrate 9.49g, crude protein12.00g, crude fibre 5.38% and metabolizable energy value 94.6kcal. The vitamin values for  A and Cwere 6861.3 µg/100 g and 40.47mg/100g, respectively. The leaf contained calcium (89.92mg/100g), sodium (17.98mg/100g), iron (7.41mg/100g), potassium (70.55mg/100g), zinc (1.77mg/100g) and phosphorus (7.00mg/100g). There were alkaloids (3.00mg/100g), flavonoids (40.10mg/100g), tannins (6.81mg/100g), phenols (6.91mg/100g) and oxalate (13.00mg/100g) in ujuju leaf.  Okra (Telfeira occidentalis) soup had higher mean scores for sensory attributes, however, taste was similar for both soup samples.
Conclusion: Myrianthus arboreus had appreciable amounts of protein, ash, vitamins and minerals. Its antinutrient content was within the acceptable limit. The vegetable could serve as a constituent of human diet.

Keywords: Myrianthus arboreus, soup, underutilized, micronutrients, macro nutrients

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