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Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 803 - 809

Nutritional Composition of Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk.) Leaves

K.J. Umar, L.G. Hassan, S.M. Dangoggo and M.J. Ladan    

Abstract: Analyses of the nutritional composition of water spinach (<I>Ipomoea aquatica</I>) Forsk leaves were carried out using standard methods of food analysis. The proximate composition as well as mineral elements were determined. The leaves were found on dry weight basis to have high moisture (72.83 ±0.29%), ash (10.83 ±0.80%), crude lipid (11.00 ±0.50%), crude fibre (17.67 ±0.35%) and available carbohydrate (54.20 ±0.68%), but low in crude protein content (6.30 ±0.27%). The leaves also have energy value (300.94 ±5.31 kcal/100 g) that is within the range reported in some Nigerian leafy vegetables. The mineral element contents were high with remarkable concentration of K (5,458.33 ±954.70 mg/100 g) and Fe (210.30 ±2.47 mg/100 g). Also the leaves content moderate concentrations of Na (135.00 ±2.50 mg/100 g), calcium (416.70 ±5.77 mg/100 g), Magnesium (301.64 ±12.69 mg/100 g) and P (109.29 ±0.55 mg/100 g), with low Cu (0.36 ±0.01 mg/100 g), Mn (2.14 ±0.22 mg/100 g) and Zn (2.47 ±0.27 mg/100 g) contents. Comparing the mineral content with recommended dietary allowance, it was showed that the plant leaves is good sources of K, Mn and Fe for all categories of people, while Mg is adequate enough for adult female and children. From the result,<I> Ipomoea aquatica</I> Forsk leaves could be used for nutritional purposes, due to the amount and diversity of nutrients it contains.

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