Nutritional Composition of Neglected Underutilized Green Leafy Vegetables and Fruits in South East Geo-political Zone of Nigeria

Main Article Content

N. N. Umerah
N. M. Nnam


Background/Objective: Vegetables and fruits play a highly significant role in food security of the underprivileged in both urban and rural settings. The study was designed to determine the nutritional composition of some neglected underutilized fruits and vegetables in Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

Methodology: The commonly occuring underutilized fruits and vegetables were selected for the study. The food crops were harvested and identified at the Herbarium in the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Twenty underutilized fruits and vegetables each were cleaned and analysed for nutrients composition using standard methods. Data were presented using descriptive statistics, percentage, mean, standard deviation and frequency.

Results: The proximate composition of the fruits ranged from 54.34-80.30% moisture, 0.27-6.21% protein, 0-3.08% fat, 0.28-8.58 % fibre, 0.33-11.05% ash and 9.08-36.61% carbohydrate. The ranges for mineral values of the fruits were iron 0.10-9.60 mg, zinc 0.02-10.30 mg, manganese 0.10-6.60 mg and calcium 5.42-46.50 mg.  The vitamin contents of the fruits ranged from beta-carotene traces -5666.67 RE, ascorbic acid 0-48.82 mg and vitamin E 0 -11.99 mg. The proximate composition of the vegetables ranged from moisture 60.45-91.00%, protein 0.02-6.60%, fat 0.02-2.19%, fibre 0.04-5.01%, ash 0.04-4.20% and carbohydrate 10.30-36.61%. The ranges for mineral values of the vegetables were iron 1.40-14.80 mg, zinc trace-9.40 mg, manganese 0.07-4.80 mg and calcium 18.19-400.00 mg. The vitamin levels of the vegetables were beta-carotene 15.20-1933.33 RE, ascorbic acid 2.40-38.40 mg and vitamin E traces - 6.67 mg.

Conclusion: The use of these fruits and vegetables should be encouraged particularly in areas where they are not produced through nutrition education in order to promote the food use of these crops.

Nutritional, composition, underutilized, vegetables and fruits

Article Details

How to Cite
Umerah, N. N., & Nnam, N. M. (2019). Nutritional Composition of Neglected Underutilized Green Leafy Vegetables and Fruits in South East Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. Asian Food Science Journal, 11(2), 1-17.
Original Research Article


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