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Research Article
Chemical Studies of the Seeds of Moringa oleifera (Lam) and Detarium microcarpum (Guill and Sperr)

B.A. Anhwange, V.O. Ajibola and S.J. Oniye

Journal of Biological Sciences, 2004, 4(6), 711-715.


The seeds of Moringa oleifera Lam (family: Moringaceae) and Detarium microcarpum Guill and Sperr (family: Caesalpiniodeae) were analysed for nutritional and antinutritional contents and chemical properties of the oils extracted from the seeds were also determined. The concentrations (mg g-1) of the essential elements, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur, phosphorus and iron were 77.4, 20.50, 1.19, 2.999, 3.75, 1.365 and 1.4, respectively for M. oleifera and 105.00, 23.0, 0.22, 2.36,16.25, 1.25 and 3.12 for D. microcarpum, respectively. Moringa oleifera contained higher amount of proteins and lipids (40.19 and 41.58%, respectively) than in D. microcarpum that contained 11.24 and 35.94% of protein and lipids, respectively. The amount of carbohydrate was highest in Detarium microcarpum (42.20%) than M. oleifera (9.11%). Moringa oleifera contained higher concentration of phytate (10.18 mg/100 g), hydrogen cyanide (0.58 mg/100 g) and saponin (2.052%) than D. microcarpum. The iodine values of the oils in M. oleifera and D. microcarpum were 59.48 and 58.02, respectively. Saponification values were in the range of 179-220.66. The acid value, free fatty acid and peroxide values were low (less than 9.0). The ester values of the oils ranged from 173.57-212.54. The high elemental composition, protein, lipid and carbohydrate contents of the seeds suggests that they could serve as supplementary sources of essential nutrients to man and livestock, provided the anti-nutritional content of the seeds are considerably reduced or eliminated.

ASCI-ID: 38-959

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