Authors : Oboh Ganiyu
Abstract: The nutritional and safety evaluation of some commonly consumed tropical green leafy vegetables namely: Amaranthus cruentus, Baselia alba, Solanum macrocarpon, Ocimum gratissimum, Telfairia occidentalis, Corchorus olitorus and Cnidoscolus acontifolius were evaluated with regard to their protein content, nutrient utilization, growth performance, digestibility and their safety (in vivo). The protein content was determined by micro-Kjeldhal method, while the nutrient utilization, growth performance of the vegetables were determined using rat bioassay, the rats were fed diet containing 40% vegetable ad lib for 14 days. The result of the study revealed that the protein content of the vegetables ranged from 24.1% for Amaranthus cruentus to 38.2% for Telfaira occidentalis on dry weight basis. While the result of the bioassay revealed that there was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the daily feed intake, daily weight gain and dry matter digestibility of those rats fed diet with vegetable when compared with the control, while there was a significant increase (P<0.05) in the feed; gain ratio. Furthermore, there was a significant increase (P<0.05) in their serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) (except Baselia alba and Solanum macrocarpon), total protein (except Cnidosolus acontifolius and Telfaira occidentalis) and albumin (except Cnidosolus acontifolius and Telfaira occidentalis) in those rats feed with vegetable diets. It is very obvious from the study that those tropical green leafy vegetable studied will not support growth and the consumption of some these vegetables in their unprocessed forms could lead to liver damage.
Oboh Ganiyu , 2005. Nutritional and Safety Evaluation of Some Tropical Green Leafy Vegetables . Journal of Food Technology, 3: 389-392.