People of Western Kordofan (Sudan) are endowed with a deep knowledge concerning the use of wild plants. Tubers of Raphionacme splendens
Schl. subspecies splendens
Flickr (family Apocynaceae), locally known as Elfayo, are used as a food reserve during times of famine or poor harvest. The aim of this study was to analyze the nutritional composition and antioxidant capacity of root tubers of R. splendens
. Samples were collected from South-West Kordofan. Analyses included determination of moisture, carbohydrate, crude protein, fat, fibre, ash, minerals, vitamin C, amino acids and fatty acids composition. Antioxidant activity was determined by the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS (2.2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) assays. The total phenolic content was also assessed. The results, which are referred to as (%) dry weight, showed that the tubers contained 3.2% protein, 18% carbohydrate, 0.5% lipid, 2.4% crude fibre, 3.5% ash, 79.2% moisture and gross energy 101.7 kJ/g. The total amino acids were 10776 mg/100g where the essential amino acids represented 28.2%. The more abundant essential amino acids were leucine (792mg/100g), isoleucine (712mg/100g) and threonine (536mg/100g). Methionine and lysine were the limiting amino acids. Minerals were potassium (259mg/100g), calcium (183mg/100g), magnesium (64mg/100g), phosphorus (37mg/100g), copper (3.6mg/100g), manganese (2.4mg/100g), zinc (1.8mg/100g) and iron (1.2mg/100g). Total saturated fatty acids were 45.6% whereas total unsaturated fatty acids were 54.4%. Oleic acid (32.56%) and palmitic acid (30.23%) were the most abundant fatty acids. Tubers displayed good antioxidant activity with IC50
values 0.987 and 1.559mg/mL against DPPH and ABTS radicals respectively. Vitamin C was 31.5mg/100g and total phenolic content was 60mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per 100g dry sample and they could be the main contributor to the antioxidant capacity of the tubers. In conclusion, the results of this study suggested that tubers of R. splendens
could have beneficial effect for food and/or nutraceutical application for normal growth and adequate protection against diseases associated with reactions of free radicals.