Unripe pulp of Carica
papaya was screened to test for the presence of certain phytochemicals.
Chemical composition of the pulp were determined. Phytochemical screening
of mature unripe pulp of Carica papaya (dry weight) showed the
presence of saponins and cardenolides while chemical analysis revealed
the presence of potassium (223.0mg/100g) as well as sodium, calcium,
iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium and manganese in considerable
quantities. Proximate analysis of the pulp showed that it contained
starch (43.28%), sugars (15.15%), crude protein (13.63%), crude fat
(1.29%), moisture (10.65%) and fibre (1.88%). All these results indicate
that the pulp of mature unripe Carica papaya contains nutrients
and mineral elements that may be useful in nutrition. The presence of
some phytochemicals like saponins and cardenolides explained the astringent
action of the plant encountered in the numerous therapeutic uses.