The aim of the study was to determine the nutritional composition of Mucuna flagellipes leaves and thus discover the potentials of this underutilized legume in nutrition. The leaves were analyzed for their proximate, mineral compositions and some anti-nutritive factors and toxic metals. Various standard methods were used in the proximate analysis; nitrogen was determined by Kjeldahl method, available carbohydrate was calculated by difference while mineral analysis was carried out after acid digestion (2:1 v/v HNO3/HClO4) with spectrophotometers. The proximate content on % dry matter were moisture content (10.33±1.04), crude fibre (10.67±1.04), ash content (7.80±0.20), crude lipid (0.83±0.29), crude protein (1.16±0.13) and available carbohydrate (69.20±1.82). The leaves have low estimated energy value (256±7.97 kcal/100 g). The mineral analysis of the leaves gave the following in mg/100 g: Na (3.29±0.70), K (42.74±1.00), Ca (313.30±9.97), Mg (112.73±1.06), P (5.72±0.001), Zn (5.38±3.14), Cr (0.34±0.42), Cu (1.33±0.33) and Fe (57.08±8.44) while anti-nutritive content gave phytate (2.34±0.02), nitrate (1.66±0.03) and toxic metals gave Pb (0.03±0.04) and Cd (0.04±0.06). Mucuna flagellipes leaves can supplement the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of Fe, Ca and Cu.
J.N. Ihedioha and C.O.B. Okoye, 2011. Nutritional Evaluation of Mucuna flagellipes Leaves: An Underutilized Legume in Eastern Nigeria. American Journal of Plant Nutrition and Fertilization Technology, 1: 55-63.