NUTRITIONAL AND ANTINUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE SEED AND SEED OIL OF CITRULLUS ECIRRHOSIS (WILD MELON), A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY
Attempt was made to determine the nutritional and anti nutritional composition of Wild melon (C. ecirrhosus ) popularly known as “Gunar shanu in Hausa land, using suitable methods of analyses. The results for proximate analyses (% DW) showed a composition of 3.73 ± moisture, 2.12 ± 0.08 ash content, 26.36 ± 0.10 crude protein, 50.67 ± crude lipid, 2.17 ± 0.29 crude fibre, 18.69 ± 0.82 carbohydrate and energy value of 601.7 ± 8.75 Kcal/ 100g. Amino acids determination revealed a profile containing essential amino acids for adults, but leucine, lysine, and threonine are below the requirement value for children. The oil was found to composed of a combination of high concentration (67.3%) of unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid C:18.2) and oleic C:18.1), and low concentration (36.6%) of saturated fatty acids (stearic acid C: 18.0 and palmitic acid C:16.0). This arrangement gave the oil good properties suitable for industrial and domestic activities. High concentration of nitrate (151666±7637), phytate (136.04±1.54) and saponin (18.65 ± 0.2mg/100gDW) were recorded in the seed, this is notwithstanding because boiling reduce their effect to a minimum. The overall result implies that seed of the wild melon possessed the potential to be used as a source of nutrition.
1.0 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW
Food is no doubt the most basic necessity for one to effectively function in his own ecosystem. It is a substance that often composed of carbohydrate, fats, protein and water which are eaten or drunk by animals or humans for nutrition (Aguilera and David, 1999). The constituent in food contains important chemical substances known as nutrients. These are ingested, digested, absorbed, and circulated in the blood streams to feed the cells which constitute the body building blocks and consequently, the increase in body resistance to diseases and faster recovery of illnesses is witnessed (Shiels et al., 2005; Worthington – Roberts, 2008).
Most of the food consume by humans are sourced from plants and animals, the former has been grouped into; leafy vegetables, seeds, tubers and fruits (Oyiza, 2005). There are over 30,000 known edible plants, from which only 300 were domesticated and more than 95% of the required human plant food were obtained (Tabuti et al., 2004).