Phytochemical composition of ipomoea batatas and moringa oleifera leaves and crackers from underutilised flour

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Great emphasis is being placed on the consumption of food that will not only provide nutrients to the body but also help in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and age-related macular degeneration as well as malnutrition. People are being encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables which have antioxidative and bioactive compounds that help prevent molecular damage caused by oxidation. Ipomoea batatas and Moringa oleifera are two indigenous vegetables whose nutritional potential though felt in other parts of the world are not known in Ghana. Thus the need for the analysis for the nutritional and phytochemical potential of the new varieties of these vegetables found in Ghana as well as their use in product development. Phytochemical analysis of the leaves was carried out using standard methods of analysis. The results obtained showed that Moringa oleifera had higher levels of crude protein, crude fibre, crude fat, iron, calcium and beta-carotene. The Ipomoea batatas samples, however, had higher levels of crude ash, total carbohydrate, total calorie, moisture and total phenolics. Cream cracker were developed from cassava and sweetpotato flour incorporated with these leaves using wheat flour as the control. Sensory evaluation of the cream crackers developed showed that they have good sensory properties and since the cassava and sweetpotato flour crackers do not contain gluten, they can be consumed by those who are gluten intolerant.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science, 2008