Analysis of the nutrient content of some indegenous Zambian food plants with some studies of processing and storage

Thumbnail Image
Mainga, Aaron Meleki
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In this study, six indigenous Zambian food plants have been analysed for their nutrient content. These include two leafy wild vegetables, two wild fruits and two wild root tubers. The leafy vegetables were also dried and stored under traditional storage conditions and later analysed for their nutritive value. Two processed foods, have also been studied and subjected to nutrient analysis. The nutrition factors examined are moisture, ash, crude fat, crude protein, carbohy¬drate plus fibre, energy, beta-carotene, vitamin C and the minerals phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc. The purpose of this study was to provide essential biochemical data on the nutrient content of some widely consumed Zambian food plants. The data is necessary for accurate and quantitative evaluation of dietary and clinical data by Zambian nutritionists and medical personnel. The data is also necessary for the compilation of Zambian food composition tables by the National Food and Nutrition Commission, a governmental agency that co-ordinates nutrition matters. A comparison of the results obtained in this study to those obtained elsewhere has been discussed. Frottt the results oJ>tained it has been found that the two fresh leafy vegetables are good sources of beta-carctene and vitamin C, These also contain fair amounts of proteins and minerals. Dry stored vegetables have been ^otind to retain their nutritive value except for vitamin C. The two fruits have been found to be good sources cf vitamin C, carbohydrates, energy and minerals. The two root tubers were found to be good sources of carbohydrates and energy. On the processed foods, the dough has been found to be rich in fat, protein and phosphorus. The fruit beverage has been found to contain all the nutrients present in the fruit except they are present in smaller quantities due to dilution.
Food -- Composition , Plants, Edible -- Zambia.