Akubugwo I. E, Obasi N.A, Chinyere G.C and Ugbogu A. E
Mineral and phytochemical contents of leaves of Amaranthus hybridus L. and Solanum nigrum L. Subjected to different processing methods were evaluated. Processing procedures adopted include shredding, sun–drying, oven–drying, steaming and a combination of these. Minerals examined are Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, P, and Zn while the phytochemicals are alkaloids, flavonoids, hydrocyanic acid, phenols, phytic acid and tannins. Oven – drying was the most effective method for retaining the studied minerals in S. nigrum but only for Na, Ca, Fe and Mg in A. hybridus L. Na/K and Ca/P ratios ranged between 0.13 – 0.14 and 1.24 - 1.28 A. hybridus L. while values for S. nigrum L. were 0.70 – 0.80 and 0.21 – 0.24 respectively in all the treatments. Sun–drying was the most effective method for retaining the phytochemicals. For retention of alkaloids, flavonoids and saponins, oven–drying proved the second best method while steaming with sun – drying elicited the greatest reduction in the levels of hydrocyanic acid, phenols, phytic acid and tannins. Processing methods employed when utilizing these leaves should therefore reflect the desired effect.
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