The concentrations of the Anti-nutritional Factors (ANF) and fatty acids of ugba (Pentaclethra macrophylla) eaten as a delicacy in different parts of Nigeria and some other African countries, were studied at eight different stages of processing and fermentation. The ANF assayed included cyanide, phytate, tannin and oxalate, while the fatty acids identified included five saturated fatty acids and four unsaturated fatty acids at each of the eight stages. The unsaturated fatty acids however occurred in higher amounts. The raw seeds of ugba were found to contain the highest concentrations of all the ANF determined, (p<0.01), except oxalate with the highest concentration of 937.5 ± 0.113 mg/100 g (p<0.05) in the boiled seed. Progressive reductions were observed at the different stages of processing and fermentation for all the ANF. For example, cyanide concentrations reduced from 8.3 ± 0.03 mg/100 g, through 7.5 ± 0.03, 7.5 ± 0.03, 4.1 ± 0.00, 3.9 ± 0.02, 3.3 ± 0.01, 2.3 ± 0.03 to 2.2 ± 0.01 mg/100 g, while phytate reduced from 63.5 ± 0.05 to 34.4 ± 0.03 mg/100 g, tannin from 6.80 ± 0.02 to 1.40 ± 0.00 mg/100 g and oxalate from 812.50 ± 1.13 to 187.50 ± 0.197 mg/100 g. The overall percentage reductions obtained in the concentrations between the raw and fully processed and fermented stages were 73.49% for cyanide, 45.98% for phytate, 79.41% for tannin and 76.92% for oxalate. The most dominant fatty acid identified was the unsaturated and essential fatty acid Cis-9, Cis-12, Octadecadienoic acid (linoleic acid). Its concentrations in the samples ranged from 44.7 to 46.3%. The non-essential fatty acid Tetracosanoic acid (lignoceric acid) usually found in trace amounts in most seed oils was found to be the highest occurring saturated fatty acid in the samples being 10% of the total fatty acids concentration. The fatty acid concentrations did not change appreciably with processing and fermentation.
V.A. Onwuliri , I. Attah and J.O. Nwankwo , 2004. Anti-nutritional Factors, Essential and Non-essential Fatty Acids Composition of Ugba (Pentaclethramacrophylla) Seeds at Different Stages of Processing and Fermentation. Journal of Biological Sciences, 4: 671-675.