Nutritional potential of two leafy vegetables: Moringa
oleifera and Ipomoea batatas leaves
Ibok Oduro, W. O. Ellis and Deborah Owusu*
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi- Ghana.
Accepted 30 January, 2008
Levels of some nutrients in Moringa oleifera leaves as well as seven varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves were determined using standard analytical methods. Crude protein ranged from 16.78 - 25.39%; crude fibre from 9.75 - 12.14%; crude fat from 0.38 - 1.91%; ash content from 8.71 - 11.60%; moisture content (fwb) ranged from 80.16 - 88.20%; carbohydrate values from 53.29 - 59.01%; and calorific values ranged from 1344.00 – 1399.00 kJ/g (316.66-329.76 cal/g) for the sweet potato leaves. For M. oleifera leaves, crude protein was 27.51%, crude fibre was 19.25%, crude fat was 2.23%, ash content was 7.13%, moisture content was 76.53%, carbohydrate content was 43.88%, and the calorific value was 1296.00 kJ/g (305.62 cal/g). Elemental analysis of the leaves in mg/100g dry matter (DM) indicates the sweet potato leaves contained appreciable levels of calcium (1310.52-1402.27) and iron (9.62-23.02). Calcium and iron content of M. oleifera also in mg/100 g (DM) were 2,009.00 and 28.29, respectively. These results reveal that the leaves contain an appreciable amount of nutrients and can be included in diets to supplement our daily nutrient needs.
Key words: Moringa oleifera, Ipomoea batatas, nutrition potential. INTRODUCTION
Recently, researchers have become convinced that nutrients
found in fruits and vegetables do more than just
prevent deficiency diseases for instance beriberi or rickets. The most publicized finding reveals that certain vitamins
or vitamin precursors in produce, notably vitamin C;
beta-carotene as well as polyphenols are powerful antioxidants (Consumer Reports on Health, 1998). Antioxidants
help prevent molecular damage caused by...