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Nutritional evaluation of Moringa Oleifera leaves and extract

by Abd Elmoneim Osman Elkhalifa, Souad Abd Alaziz Ahmed, Sara Adam

Abstract This study was carried out to make use of M. Olaeifera tree (Rawag) which is available in Sudan. In This study the approximate analysis of M. Oleifera leaves was determined and the results showed that moisture content was 74.42%, protein 16.7% ,fibre 3.5%, ash 8%, and oil 1.7%. Also the minerals content were determined and they were found that the calcium content was 0.20 mg/100g, magnesium 0.13mg/100g, potassium 0.075mg/100g, and phosphorus 0.031 mg/100g M. Oelifera extract was prepared by two different ways M. Oleifera extract with flavours and M. Oleifera extract without flavours. Those with flavour were found to be better in quality and acceptability compared with the non flavours extract. Introduction In recent years interest has grown in the utilization of what have come to be known as 'multipurpose' trees. One such tree is Moringa Oleifera (M. Oleifera). This species is one of the world's most useful plants. Though apparently native only to restricted areas in the southern foothills of the Himalayas. M. Oleifera is cultivated in all the countries of the tropics for its leaves, fruits, and roots for a variety of food and medicinal purposes (Morton, 1991). It is now indigenous to many countries in Africa, South East Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean Islands and South America. As more becomes known of the various uses and products of the tree the greater its significance has become in the development of many of the poorest areas of developing countries (Booth and Wickens, 1988). The immature green pods are probably the most valued and widely used of all the tree parts. The pods are generally prepared in a similar fashion to green beans and have a slight asparagus taste. The pods are highly nutritious containing all the essential amino acids. Although primarily utilised worldwide by the Asian population as a vegetable, usage by other peoples is increasing. An international market already exists for both fresh and tinned pods (Ramachandran et al., 1980). Almost all parts of the tree have been utilized within traditional medicine practices. Studies reported that M. Oleifera reduces levels of malnutrition in infants within 2-4 weeks, helps children maintain body weights and energy level, increases productivity through better school marks and work strength, assists mothers who were anaemic and helps increase the production of mother's milk (Eilert et al., 1981 and Ram, 1994).

Moringa may also be used as a food addictive; organizations are currently exploring the possibility of Moringa's industrial use, as an additive to other common goods (i.e. fortifier). From a food security view Moringa meets the needs or requirements of many populations in terms of it's: availability, accessibility, and utilization. The objectives of this study were to determine the physicochemical properties of Moringa leaves, to prepare an extract of these leaves and to assess the acceptability of this extract. Materials and Methods: Leaves of M. Oleifera plant were obtained from a tree grown in Khartoum, Sudan. The leaves were cleaned from dust and impurities and then put in an oven (65 [ or -] 2[degrees]C) to dry, after that they were milled until the leaves become a powder. The leaf powder was kept into a clean bottle at room temperature (30-37[degrees]C). Extraction of M. Olifera Distilled water (10ml) was added to different weights of M. Oleifera (1g, 0.5g, and 0.25g) and shaken for 10, 20 and 30 min then the sample were centrifuged at 3000 x g for 30 min. Chemical analysis: The leaf powder of Moringa was analyzed for moisture content, ash, protein, fiber and fat according to AOAC (1984) method. Minerals (Ca, Fe, Na, K and Cu) were determined by using an Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy method. Organoleptic evaluation: M. Oleifera extract (1g of leaves powder 150ml water soaking for 30 min) was assessed organleptically. Panellists from Ahfad University for Women staff and students were presented with coded M. Oleifera extract samples with different flavours (pineapple, coconut, orange and strawberry) and a control (with no flavour). Panellists were asked to evaluate the appearance, colour, taste, flavour and general acceptability of the different extracts by ranking method. Results and discussion: M. Oleifera leaves contain high amount of water (74.40%)and a reasonable amount of protein (16.70%) as in Table 1. Church World (2000) reported that M. Oleifera leaves contain 75.00% moisture and 10.10% protein. M. Oleifera were reported by Church World (2000) to contain a high amount of fibre, 19.20%, in this study it was found to contain only 3.50% (Table 1). This may be due to the difference in the environment where M. Oleifera tree was grown. The oil content of the leaves was found to be 1.7% which is similar to that reported by Church World (2000). The ash content was found to be 8% which indicate a high content of minerals. The in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) of M. Oleifera leaves was found to be high (89.15%) as in Table 1. Minerals content of M. Oleifera leaves: Table (2) show the minerals content of M. Oleifera leaves. The calcium content of M. Oleifera was found to be 0.20 mg/100g which is lower (2.003 mg/100g) than that reported by

Church World (2000). While the phosphorous content was found to be (0.031mg/100g). Magnesium, sodium and potassium content were 0.13, 0.01 and 0.075 mg/100g respectively, which is lower than that reported Church World (2000). Minerals content and in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) of M, Oleifera extract: M. Oleifera extract was prepared by different methods. The minerals content (Ca and P) of the different extracts are shown in Table (3). Increasing the concentration of the leaves in the extract and the extraction time lead to an increase in the calcium and phosphorous content in the extract (Table 3); the Ca content ranged from 173 mg/100g to 748.50 mg/100g. This result indicated that M. Oleifera extract will be good source of calcium. The phosphorus content of the different M. Oleifera extract was found to be in the range from 1.16 mg/100g to 0.16 mg/100g (Table 3). M. Oleifera extract prepared by extraction of 1g of the leaves in 10 ml distilled water for 20 min was found to be a good source for calcium and phosphorous this extract was found to have a high in vitro protein digestibility (89.15%). Organoleptic evaluation of M. Olifera extract: The organoleptic evaluation of the M. Oleifera extract prepared with different features is shown in Table (4). Extracts B, D and E with different flavours: orange, strawberry and pineapple, respectively; were found to be acceptable in appearance by the judges (Table 5). On the other hand, the control extracts (with no flavour) and the extract with cocoanut flavour was judged as unacceptable in appearance. Moringa extract with orange flavour was judged as the best in colour. The most unacceptable extracts in taste and flavour were the control extract and the extract (A and C) with cocoanut flavour (Table 5).
Table (1) Physical and chemical properties of M. Oleifera leaves Moisture% 74.42 [ 0.59 Oil % 1.70 [ or -] 0.57 or -] Ash% 8.00 [ or -] 1.41 Fiber% 3.45 [ 1.20 or -] Protein% 16.66 [ or -] 2.88 Protein digestibility 89.15 [ or -] 0.55

Values are means [

or -] (SA).

Table (2) Minerals content of M. Oleifera leaves Calcium mg/100g 0.2 Magnesium mg/100g 0.13 Sodium mg/100g 0.01 Potassium mg/100g 0.075 Phosphorous mg/100g 0.031

Table (3) Calcium and phosphorus content and protein digestibility of M. Oleifera extract Type of the extract 1 gram shacked Calcium mg/100g 717.50 Phosphorus mg/100g 0.99 Protein digestibility % --

for10 min 1 gram shacked for 20 min 1 gram shacked for30 min 0.5 gram shacked for 10 min 0.5 gram shacked for 20 min 0.5 gram shacked for 30 min 0.25 gram shacked for 10 min 0.25 gram shacked for 10 min 0.25 gram shacked for 10 min --Not determined.

748.75 718.75 364.00 306.00 389.00 202.75 173 492.25

0.16 0.13 0.63 0.58 0.73 0.26 0.38 0.52

89.15 [ -

or -] 0.55

Table (4) Codes given for M. Oleifera extract used for organoleptic evaluation Extracti on Code A B C D E Different Components of the Extract 0.5g Citric acid 5g sugar.

0.5g Citric acid 5g sugar 0.2mg orange flavour 0.5mg orange colour. 0.5g Citric acid 5g sugar 0.2mg pineapple flavour 0.5mg yellow colour. 0.5g Citric acid 5g sugar 0.2mg strawberry flavour 0.5mg red colour. 0.5g Citric acid 5g sugar 0.2mg cocoanut flavour.

Table (5) Sensory evaluation of M. Oleifera extract Flavour additive of samples Control(no flavour) Orange Coconut Strawberry Pineapple Sample A B C D E Appearance 1 4.9 2.1 3.9 3.1 Colour 1.1 4.7 2 3.7 3.4 Taste 1.1 4.6 1.9 3.7 3.7 Flavour 1.1 4.6 1.9 4.1 3.3


A.O.A.C. (1984). Association of Official Analytical Chemistry, Official Methods of Analysis, 12th ed., Washington DC, USA. Booth, F.E.M. and Wickens, G.E. (1988). Non-timber uses of selected arid zone trees and shrubs in Africa. FAO, Rome, 92-101. Church World (2000). The Miracle Tree: Nutritive Value of Leaves and Pods. Church World Website. Eilert, U.; Wolters, B. and Nahrstedt, A. (1981). The antibiotic principle of seeds of Moringa oleifera and Moringa stenopetala. J. Medicinal Plant Res., 42, 55-61. Morton, J.F. (1991). The horseradish tree, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringaceae)--A boon to arid lands. Economic Botany, 45, 318-333. Ram, J. (1994). Moringa a Highly Nutritious Vegetable Tree, Tropical Rural and Island/Atoll Development Experimental Station (TRIADES). Technical Bulletin No. 2. Ramachandran, C; Peter, K.V. and Gopalakrishnan, P.K. (1980). Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera) multipurpose Indian vegetable. Economic Botany, 34, 276-283. Abd Elmoneim Osman Elkhalifa; Souad Abd Alaziz Ahmed and Sara Adam--(School of Health Sciences, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan).