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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 30, No. 4, 2018, pp. 250-255
Bioline Code: mm18050
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2018, pp. 250-255

 en Mineral and phytochemical composition of baobab ( Adansonia digitata check for this species in other resources L.) root tubers from selected natural populations of Malawi
Kamanula, Mussa; Munthali, Chimuleke R.Y.; Dziwapo, Agnes & Kamanula, John F.


Most studies on baobab have focused mainly on the nutritional value of baobab fruit pulp. Information on nutritional value and medicinal properties of the baobab root tuber has not been fully investigated and is scarce. This study was conducted to assess mineral and phytochemical composition of baobab root tubers from selected natural populations of Malawi.
Baobab seeds from Chikhwawa, Mwanza, Salima, Karonga and Likoma were sown at Mzuzu University. At the age of five months after sowing, mineral content of the resulting root tubers was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer whereas phytochemical composition was determined qualitatively.
Magnesium (44.16mg/100g) and calcium (69.39mg/100g) levels were highest in baobab root tubers from Chikhwawa and Karonga, respectively. Mwanza and Karonga root tubers contained highest amount of lead (0.2100mg/100g) while iron content was highest (8.89mg/100g) in root tubers from Karonga. Salima and Mwanza root tubers showed strong concentration of terpenoids. Moderate concentrations of saponins were detected in Mwanza, Salima, Karonga and Chikhwawa root tubers. Alkaloids and flavonoids were absent in all families from the five sampled provenances.
Minerals and phytochemicals present in baobab root tubers suggest their nutritional and medicinal potential. However, further research is required to establish the causes of high levels of lead in baobab root tubers.

baobab; calcium; iron; lead; magnesium; saponins; terpenoids

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