• Comparative Study of Nutritional Profiles and Phytochemical Components of Raw, Blanched and Fermented Flour from the Leaves of Moringa oleifera lam

    Mal J Nutr 19(3): 371 – 382, 2013

    Comparative Study of Nutritional Profiles and Phytochemical Components of Raw, Blanched and Fermented Flour from the Leaves of Moringa olezfera lam 
    Ijarotimi OS,* Fagbemi, TN & Osundahunsi OF
    Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria

    ABSTRACT

    Introduction: The medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera plants have been extensively investigated but less is known of its nutrients and phytochemical components. This study evaluated the nutritional and phytochemical profiles of Moringa leaves. Methods: Moringa leaves were freshly harvested from Federal University of Technology community in Akure. The leaves were processed into flour and evaluated for nutritional qualities after being subjected to shade drying, blanching and fermentation techniques. Results: The moisture contents of flour from raw, blanched and fermented leaves ranged from 6.88�0.70g/100g to 7.19�0.64g/100g, while the protein contents were between 24.39�0.18g/100g and 29.93�2.77g/100g. Among the minerals present, potassium had the highest concentration, while copper the lowest value. The Ca/P and Na/K molar ratios of the samples ranged between 18.3 to 24.5 and 0.3 to 0.4 respectively. Total essential amino acids plus histidine and arginine ranged between 38.16g/100g and 42.24g/100g. The phytochemical/antinutrient concentrations in fermented leaf flour had significantly lower tannin, phytate, trypsin, oxalate, phenolic, alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin and terpenoid contents when compared with the flour of blanched and raw leaves. The predicted protein efficiency ratio, essential amino acid index and biological values were highest in raw leaf flour and lowest in blanched leaf flour. The digestible indispensable amino acid index ranged from 51.7% in raw leaf flour to 85.2% in fermented samples. Conclusion: Flour from fermented Moringa oleifera leaves had better nutrient composition, nutritional quality, and a reduction in some antinutrients/phytochemicals than flour from blanched leaves. 

    Keywords: Chemical composition, Moringa oleifera leaves, nutritional quality

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