Evaluation of Nutritional Quality of Some Wild Edible Plants in Central Cross River, Nigeria
Obi-Abang Magdalene, Margaret Akpana Agiang, Victor Eshu Okpashi and Godwin Eneji Egbung
American Journal of Applied Sciences
According to the Nigerian National Population Commission 2006, the population of the nation was conservatively estimated to be over one hundred and seventy million. The challenge of nutritional quality to feed an increasing national population places a higher demand on poorly grown conventional plants. Thus the need to incorporate wild edible plants to bridge the extended gap between the conventional vegetable and the wild indigenous edible plants informs this research. The daily intake of vitamins and minerals are obtained from vegetables. Wild edible plants serve as food and medicine. In this study, the delicacies were prepared from two novel wild edible vegetables - Ceiba Pentandra (CPD) and Ficus glumosa (FGD). They were evaluated for nutritional quality. Their minerals and vitamins content were determined using standard methods. These delicacies were fortified with a diet of experimental rats. Twenty four (24) albino rats weighing 43.99 - 81.49 g were randomly arranged into six groups (n = 6) of six rats per group. Two groups were fed with the formulated experimental diets, while the other two were fed with protein-free (casein) and basal diets. Vitamins C and E, carbohydrate and protein were significant in CPD delicacy at (28.47±3.17%). The mineral composition showed low Na+ level, while Ca2+ concentration was also low in CPD and FGD. Phosphorus and Mg+2 were high in FGD. The FGD-fed rats had a low biological value (%) (1.38±0.01%) compared to CPD (2.29±0.01) and reference (casein) group (3.02±0.01). The reference group consumed the highest amount of food -97.06±14.70 g, followed by the basal group (88.98±10.61, with CPD having (76.46±18.78) and FGD (48.27±18.27), respectively. There were no differences in the body weight, protein efficiency ratio, net protein utilization, net protein retention, true digestibility, fecal and carcass protein levels in all the test groups. Findings indicate that nutrients from these wild vegetable delicacies may have good quality and could meet the nutritional needs of the consumer if utilize as per the standard.
© 2018 Obi-Abang Magdalene, Margaret Akpana Agiang, Victor Eshu Okpashi and Godwin Eneji Egbung. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.