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|Title: ||Furthering an understanding of West African plant foods|
|Authors: ||Glew, R.S.|
Ankar-Brewoo, Gloria Mathanda
|Issue Date: ||28-Sep-2010|
|Publisher: ||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Abstract: ||Purpose – The main purpose of this paper is to determine the content of amino acids, fatty acids and
minerals in seven indigenous leafy vegetables (ILVs) in Ghana.
Design/methodology/approach – Leaves from plants growing near Kumasi were milled to a fine
powder, dried to constant weight in a vacuum desiccator, and analyzed for their content of the
afore-mentioned nutrients. The plants were: Hibiscus sabdarifa, Hibiscus cannabinus, Amaranthus
cruentus, Corchorus oliforius, Solanum macrocarpon, Xanthomosa sagittifolium and Vigna
Findings – All seven ILVs contained a large amount of protein (15.5-22.8 percent), which compared
favorably to the essential amino acid pattern of a WHO standard. They all contained nutritionally
useful amounts of a-linolenic acid and had an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 0.1-0.9. The seven ILVs
contained quantities of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and zinc that
could contribute significantly to satisfying an individual’s need for these elements.
Research limitations/implications – The presence of relatively large amounts of various
nutritionally essential macro- and micronutrients in these seven ILVs does not necessarily mean these
nutrients are bioavailable. Future research is required to determine the amounts of anti-nutrients (e.g.
protease inhibitors, chelators) in these vegetables, and the extent to which their protein, lipid and
mineral constituents are digested and/or absorbed.
Originality/value – Since malnutrition (e.g. iron-deficiency anemia, rickets, zinc deficiency,
protein-calorie malnutrition) is common in sub-Saharan Africa, the information which is provided
should increase awareness among agricultural and public health officials of the nutritional value of
seven underappreciated and underutilized ILVs that are indigenous to Ghana and many other parts of
|Description: ||An article published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited and also available at DOI 10.1108/00070701011080230|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Science|
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