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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences

Year: 2014  |  Volume: 17  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 114 - 117

Anti-nutritional Factors in the Roots of a Local Cultivar of Moringa oleifera (Lam)

I.O. Igwilo, F.C. Ezeonu, J.O. Ezekwesili-Ofili, S.N. Igwilo, C.I. Nsofor, M.S. Abdulsalami and E. Obi


The evergreen plant, Moringa oleifera (Lam) has been known to have both medicinal and nutritional properties, thus its wide use in traditional medicine in Africa and Asia. The roots, in particular, have been reported to possess antibiotic, anti-tumour and anti-oxidative activities. This study therefore seeks to determine the levels of the anti-nutritional factors and other proximate analyses in the roots of a local cultivar of Moringa oleifera which might be responsible for such activities. The concentrations of oxalates and phytates in the roots were determined using the methods of Munro and Bassir and Griffith and Thomas, respectively. The methods of Association of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) were used to estimate the amount of tannins, saponins and cyanogenic glycosides while the Technicon sequential Multi-sample amino acid analyzer (TSM) was used determine the amino acid concentration in the roots. Tannins (45 mg 100 g-1) and oxalates (17.08 mg 100 g-1) were present in the roots at higher levels while saponins (4.20 mg 100 g-1), cyanogenic glycosides (2.72 mg 100 g-1) and phytates (0.07 mg 100 g-1) occurred at much lower levels. The roots contained (Mean±Standard Error of mean) %crude lipid (6.33±1.64), %crude proteins (5.02±1.52), %carbohydrates (76.75), %ash (4.97±0.53) and %moisture (6.93±0.58). The roots lacked the water-soluble vitamins pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamine but contained ascorbic acid (48.13 mg 100 g-1) and niacin (5.83 mg 100 g-1). This study has shown that Moringa oleifera roots are rich in anti-nutritional factors and that is why they are widely used in traditional medicine in Africa, Asia and Americas for its medicinal importance.

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