Nutritional Quality of Underutilized Wild Edible Fruits Grown in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This study was carried out to evaluate nutritional composition, phytochemical constituents, anti-oxidant potentials, anti-nutritional factors, vitamin C content and to develop fruit leather products. Fruit pulps of Bedena/Balanites aegyptiaca (L) Del., Koshim/Dovyalis abyssinica (A.Rich.)Warb., Shola/Ficus mucuso Welw. Ficalho, Qoladi/Mimusops kummel Bruce A.DC., and Geba/Ziziphus spina-christi (L) Desf. sampled from North and East Shewa, Ethiopia were collected and characterized for their proximate composition, selected mineral contents, total soluble phenols, total flavonoids and total antioxidant capacity were done according to scientific standard procedure. Mineral contents were high, total soluble phenols ranged from 22.13±0.04 – 80.24±0.09 mg GAE/100g DW and total flavonoids were between 17.32±0.05 and 48.34±0.04 mg CE/100g DW. Total antioxidant capacity ranged from 0.07 – 11.60 mg QE/100g DW when measured in methanol extract using DPPH assay. The richness of these fruits in minerals and antioxidant compounds makes them considerable sources of nutrition and of potential impact on human health. Screening of anti-nutritional factors of five underutilized wild edible fruits were maximum oxalate content was found in Balanites aegyptiaca (18.59±0.31 mg/100g DW) and minimum value (5.04±0.11 mg/100g DW) was recorded in Mimusops kummel. While the phytate content ranged from 3.13±0.00 mg/100g DW (Mimusops kummel) to 3.45±0.10 mg/100g DW (Balanites aegyptiaca) among five edible fruits. Maximum value for condensed tannin content was exhibited in Ziziphus spina-christi (9.25±0.01 mg/100g DW) and lowest was recorded in Dovyalis abyssinica (2.26±0.05 mg/100g DW). The present results suggest that fruits contained lower amounts of all the anti-nutrients analyzed. Hence they may be recommended for consumption for human being. This study has shown that good quality fruit leathers and juices can be produced from the underutilized Ethiopian fruits including Dovyalis abyssinica and Carica Papaya using simple procedures suitable for small-scale commercial production including dehydration, osmotic dehydration, and mechanical juice extraction followed by hot water pasteurization.



Anti-Nutrients, Antioxidant Activity, Phytochemicals, Minerals, Wild Edible Fruits