EVALUATION OF BETA-CAROTENE, IRON AND OTHER MICRONUTRIENT STATUS OF RATS FED SUN OR SHADE-DRIED FLUTED PUMPKIN (TELFARIA OCCIDENTALIS) LEAVES AND ITS PRODUCT, THE LEAF CURD

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EVALUATION OF BETA-CAROTENE, IRON AND OTHER MICRONUTRIENT STATUS OF RATS FED SUN OR SHADE-DRIED FLUTED PUMPKIN (TELFARIA OCCIDENTALIS) LEAVES AND ITS PRODUCT, THE LEAF CURD ()

ABSTRACT

The study examined the nutrient composition of shade and sun-dried fluted pumpkin leaf and the curd produced from the leaf. The effects of the processed leaves and the curd on beta carotene, iron, ascorbate, zinc, copper and calcium status of rats were evaluated. Fluted pumpkin leaf was divided into four (4) portions. One was shade-dried, another was sun-dried and the other was used to produce leaf curd. The last portion was not processed and served as the control. All the processed samples were milled to fine flour and analysed using standard methods.

Each of the pumpkin leaf flour was incorporated into rat chow to provide 2.1 mg beta carotene daily for a 28-day study period. Twenty (20) male weanling rats were divided into four (4) groups of five (5) rats each. They were housed in individual metabolism cages and fed diets and water ad libitum. Blood samples were drawn before and after the experiment by ocular puncture and were used for biochemical analysis. Blood plasma was used to determine haemoglobin while serum was used to determine pro- vitamin A, ascorbate, ferritin, iron, copper, zinc and calcium. The liver was individually removed and analysed for liver ferritin, ascorbate and other micronutrients. The results showed that sun-dried fluted pumpkin leaf had comparable (p>0.05) protein value (23.78%, 23.08%, 19.75%) with the shade-dried and dried leaf curd.

The fresh pumpkin leaves had higher (83.57μg) (p<0 .05=”” 0.88=”” 14.56=”” a=”” all=”” and=”” calcium=”” copper=”” curd=”” dried=”” g=”” iron=”” leaf=”” levels=”” of=”” p=”” pro-vitamin=”” processed=”” sample=”” samples=”” similar=”” sun-dried=”” than=”” the=”” were=”” zinc=””>0.05). The rats fed rat chow supplemented with dried leaf curd had higher serum beta carotene, ascorbate, and ferritin than those of the other groups. The rats fed rat chow supplemented with shade dried-fluted pumpkin leaf had higher (p<0 .05=”” and=”” ascorbate=”” beta-carotene=”” curd=”” ferritin=”” fluted=”” groups.=”” haemoglobin=”” improved=”” into=”” iron=”” leaf=”” level=”” liver=”” methods.=”” more=”” of=”” other=”” processing=”” pumpkin=”” rats=”” result=”” serum=”” showed=”” span=”” than=”” that=”” the=””>

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EVALUATION OF BETA-CAROTENE, IRON AND OTHER MICRONUTRIENT STATUS OF RATS FED SUN OR SHADE-DRIED FLUTED PUMPKIN (TELFARIA OCCIDENTALIS) LEAVES AND ITS PRODUCT, THE LEAF CURD ()

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