PRELIMINARY STUDIES ON CANAVALIA ENSIFORMIS (JACKBEAN) DC. SEEDS: PROXIMATE ANALYSIS AND PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING

R.I. Nimenibo–Uadia

Abstract


Nutritional and chemical composition of Canavalia ensiformis DC seeds, an underexploited crop seed in Nigeria was investigated using standard methods. Proximate analysis in g% dry weight revealed the seeds to be rich in protein (34.47 ± 0.18) and ash content (4.92 ± 0.42) with moderate carbohydrate content of (42.13 ± 0.21), crude fat (4.09 ± 0.13), crude fibre (5.86 ± 0.46), while moisture was 14.39 ± 0.12. Phytochemical screening of the seeds showed that tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins and cardiac glycosides were present. Anthraquinones were not detected. The results support the medicinal uses of the seeds and suggest it could serve as a cheap source of protein food/supplement for man and livestock. The moderate level of carbohydrate in the seeds should be beneficial to weight watchers.


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