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Comparative proximate and phytochemical compositions of Cola acuminata (P Beauv) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and Endl.

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Aziagba. Comparative Phytochemical and Proximate Compositions of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and Endl. Abstract: Seeds, leaves and stems of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and Endl. Were oven-dried at 60 o C for 24 hours and standard analytical laboratory methods were used for proximate and phytochemical tests. Sterols and triterpenes were absent in all the parts of the two species. Starch was absent in the leaves of Cola acuminata and C. nitida. Trace amount of hydrogen cyanide was only detected in the seed of C. acuminata. Alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin, tannin as well as high level of protein and minerals were found in all the parts of the two species in varying concentrations. Seed of C. acuminata has higher alkaloid content (0.26+0.11%) and as a result could have a higher stimulating property. These chemical characters could be considered as additional characters in delimitation of the two species as well as proper placement of the family, Sterculiaceae.
Plant
2015; 3(3): 26-29
Published online June 26, 2015 (http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/j/plant)
doi: 10.11648/j.plant.20150303.12
ISSN: 2331-0669 (Print); ISSN: 2331-0677 (Online)
Comparative Phytochemical and Proximate Compositions
of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent)
Schott and Endl.
Okeke, Clement Uwabunkeonye
1
, Chinelo Anthonia Ezeabara
1, *
, Chimezie, Horoiheoma
2
,
Udechukwu, Chidozie Denis
1
, Bibian Okwuchukwu Aziagba
1
1
Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
2
Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria
Email address:
Clementuokeke@yahoo.com (C. U. Okeke), e.chinelo5@yahoo.com (C. A. Ezeabara)
To cite this article:
Okeke, Clement Uwabunkeonye, Chinelo Anthonia Ezeabara, Chimezie, Horoiheoma, Udechukwu, Chidozie Denis, Bibian Okwuchukwu
Aziagba. Comparative Phytochemical and Proximate Compositions of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and
Endl.. Plant. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2015, pp. 26-29. doi: 10.11648/j.plant.20150303.12
Abstract:
Seeds, leaves and stems of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and Endl. Were oven-
dried at 60
o
C for 24 hours and standard analytical laboratory methods were used for proximate and phytochemical tests. Sterols
and triterpenes were absent in all the parts of the two species. Starch was absent in the leaves of Cola acuminata and C. nitida.
Trace amount of hydrogen cyanide was only detected in the seed of C. acuminata. Alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin, tannin as well
as high level of protein and minerals were found in all the parts of the two species in varying concentrations. Seed of C.
acuminata has higher alkaloid content (0.26+0.11%)
and as a result could have a higher stimulating property. These chemical
characters could be considered as additional characters in delimitation of the two species as well as proper placement of the
family, Sterculiaceae.
Keywords:
Alkaloid, Chemical characters, Cola acuminata, Cola nitida, Kola nut, Sterculiaceae
1. Introduction
Sterculiaceae family is predominant in both tropical and
subtropical countries, and composed of about 60 genera and
700 species. In West Africa alone, there are 17 genera and 83
species, half of which are Cola species [1]. Hutchinson
placed Sterculiaceae under the order Tiliales, but Bentham
and Hooker, Engler and Prantl, Takhtajan, Cronquist and
Thorne placed it under Malvales. The family differs from
both Malvaceae and Tiliaceae families based on the absence
of definite number of stamens. Even though, Sterculiaceae is
regarded as having derived from the stock as Tiliaceae, it
showed close affinities with Euphorbiaceae by showing the
presence of stellate hairs, tendency to unisexuality and arils
in the seeds [2].
Kola plant is a native of Africa. There are about 125
species of the plant, all of which are indigenous to Tropical
West Africa [3,4]. Cola acuminata originated from Congo,
Southern Nigeria, Togo, Gabon and Angola [3,5]. Cola nitida,
on the other hand, originated from forest zones of Sierra
Leone, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Since, 1912, it has been
planted extensively in Western Nigeria, and was taken to
Jamaica and Brazil by slaves around 1930.The plants
distributed by Kew to various tropical botanic gardens in
1880’s under the name of Cola acuminata was said to have
been Cola nitida [3].
Cola nitida has only two cotyledons, while Cola
acuminata has more than two cotyledons. Other
morphological differences between the two species have been
described [6,3,5]. Three subspecies (alba, ballayi and
astrophora) in Cola acuminata and one subspecies (vera) in
Cola nitida was reported by Ghani [7], while [3] recognized
albida as a subspecies of Cola nitida.
Kola nut is edible, with tremendous medicinal, religious
and social values in Nigeria. The economic values and
reactions in the body have been discussed extensively by
various workers [3,5,7,8,9]. Comparative nutritional and
chemical contents of the two species are therefore required,
27 Okeke, Clement Uwabunkeonye et al.: Comparative Phytochemical and Proximate Compositions of
Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott and Cola nitida (Vent) Schott and Endl.
as additional characters in delineating them. This may also
furnish additional information that may be helpful in
resolving the on-going controversy involved in the placement
of the Sterculiaceae in the right order.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Plant Materials
The fruit, leaf and stem samples of both Cola acuminata
and C. nitida used for this study were obtained from the
premises of the National Root Crop Research Institute,
Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria. The Voucher specimens were
deposited in the Herbarium of Abia State University, Uturu,
Nigeria.
2.2. Preparation of Plant Materials
Two hundred gram (200g) of the seed, leaf and stem
samples used were oven-dried at 60
o
C for 24 hours.
2.2.1. Preliminary Phytochemical Tests
The preliminary phytochemical tests for the presence or
absence of alkaloid, saponin, flavonoid, sterols and
triterpenes, tannins, glycoside and starch were carried out
following standard methods of Beckett and Stenlake [10].
The symbol ‘+’ denoted presence while ‘–’ indicated absence.
2.2.2. Quantitative Phytochemical Tests
The quantitative phytochemical tests were conducted using
a standard method [11].
2.2.3. Proximate Analyses
Proximate analyses of the test samples were conducted
following the standard methods of Ene-Obong and Carnovale
[12].
2.2.4. Statistical Analysis
Data were presented as mean+Standard deviation of
triplicate determinations.
3. Results
The results of the phytochemical and proximate studies
were shown in Tables 1-3.Sterols and triterpenes were
absent in all the parts of the two species. Starch was absent
in the seeds and leaves of Cola acuminata as well as in the
leaves of Cola nitida. Philoba-tannin was present in the
leaves but absent in the stems of both Cola acuminata and
C. nitida. Hydrogen cyanide was absent in all the parts of
the two species except in the seeds of Cola acuminata
(Table 1).
Alkaloid, flavonoid, saponin and tannin were present in all
the parts of the two species (Tables 1 and 2). Alkaloid level
of seeds (0.26+0.11%)
and leaves (0.16+0.1%) of Cola
acuminata were higher. Highest concentration of saponin was
found in the leaves (0.24+0.2%) of Cola nitida. High
flavonoid content was contained in the leaves (0.24+0.2%) of
Cola acuminata as well as seeds (0.24+0.2%) and leaves
(0.26+0.1%) of C. nitida. Tannin content was greatest in the
leaves (0.32+0.1%) of C. acuminata (Table 2).
High levels of protein were present in the seeds and
leaves of both species with higher concentrations in those
of Cola acuminata. Carbohydrate and potassium contents of
the two species were higher in the seeds and leaves. Fibre
and calcium values were higher in the stems of the two
plants. Highest levels of phosphorus and sodium were
detected in the leaves of the plants followed by the seeds
with least in the stems. High levels of magnesium were
found in the leaves of Cola acuminata (72.00+1.2%) as
well as in the leaves (78.00+1.3%) and seeds (58.18+1.7%)
of C. nitida (Table 3).
4. Discussion
The result showed that Cola acuminata and C. nitida
contained rich bioactive compounds and nutrients; with
carbohydrate, protein and minerals in high concentrations as
well as a trace of hydrogen cyanide detected in seed of C.
acuminata only. The seeds of both species are edible.
Cola acuminata has a very high cultural value in
Southeastern Nigeria. They are used in every traditional
rituals and ceremonies. Cola nitida seeds, on the other hand,
are predominantly taken by the Northerners.
Alkaloids were higher in the seeds and least in the stems of
the two plants and this tallied with [13] finding. He reported
that the nuts of C. nitida grown in Ghana contained more
caffeine. Caffeine is well known alkaloids of plant origin.
Most of the physiological actions of C. nitida have been
found to be due to caffeine content [14]. Caffeine has been
reported to be among the social drugs consumed by humans
[15]; which is as a result of its stimulating effect, presumably.
Caffeine has also been known as fat burner and is beneficial
in assisting weight loss [16,17]. In addition, glucose lowering
effect of C. acuminata has been observed [18]; suggesting
that it has an antidiabetic effect. Meanwhile, this could be as
a result of alkaloid content of the plant. Alkaloids have been
reported to possess an antidiabetic effect [19].
Furthermore, percentage phenol in the seeds and stems of
the two species were relatively the same whereas the stems
contained the least value. However, higher value of phenol
was found in the leaves of C. nitida. This agreed with the
observation of Lee and Jaworski [20], who stated that the
percentage phenol in C. nitida was higher.
Hydrogen cyanide was only present in the seeds of C.
acuminata in trace quantity. In a previous study, it was
reported that kola nut could mimic malaria-like symptoms in
the body when taken at a high concentration (about 35 g/day),
stating that this quantity would leave a high level of caffeine
and cyanide in the circulation so that people with a low level
of malaria parasite in them would notice active infection
which otherwise may have been controlled by the host
immune system [21]. This observation could be applicable to
the seed of C. acuminata because of its higher alkaloid value
and presence of trace amount of hydrogen cyanide; but not C.
nitida.
Plant 2015; 3(3): 26-29 28
Table 1. Qualitative phytochemical compositions of Cola acuminata and C. nitida.
Compositions Cola acuminata Cola nitida
Seeds Leaves Stems Seeds Leaves Stems
Alkaloid + + + + + +
Saponin + + + + + +
Flavonoid + + + + + +
Sterols and triterpenes - - - - - -
Tannins + + + + + +
Philoba-tannin + + - + + -
HCN + - - - - -
Starch - - + + - +
(+) = present; (-) = absent. HCN = Hydrogen cyanide
Table 2. Quantitative phytochemical compositions of Cola acuminata and C. nitida (%).
Constituents Cola acuminata Cola nitida
Seeds Leaves Stems Seeds Leaves Stems
Alkaloid 0.26+0.11 0.16+0.1 0.08+0.01 0.22+0.1 0.14+0.1 0.08+0.01
Saponin 0.12+0.12 0.18+0.1 0.12+0.02 0.18+0.02 0.24+0.2 0.12+0.1
Flavonoid 0.18+0.1 0.24+0.2 0.08+0.01 0.24+0.1 0.26+0.1 0.06+0.01
Phenol 0.28+0.2 0.26+0.11 0.12+0.1 0.28+0.03 0.28+0.03 0.12+0.1
Tannin 0.28+0.13 0.32+0.1 0.14+0.02 0.26+0.11 0.26+0.11 0.14+0.1
Data are mean+standard deviation of triplicate determinations
Table 3. Quantitative proximate composition of Cola acuminata and Cola nitida (%).
Constituents Cola acuminata Cola nitida
Seeds Leaves Stems Seeds Leaves Stems
Protein 9.10+0.12 10.15+1.1 1.40+0.01 8.58+1.1 7.35+0.1 1.40+0.1
Fat 2.16+0.01 2.04+0.1 0.36+0.2 2.24+0.1 2.10+0.01 0.42+0.2
Fibre 3.22+0.1 18.64+0.2 66.98+1.1 2.46+0.2 19.28+1.1 66.82+1.3
Ash 6.48+0.2 5.88+0.1 4.34+2.1 5.64+0.3 5.64+0.2 4.28+0.1
NFE(CHO) 79.02+1.1 63.29+0.1 26.94+1.3 80.90+2.1 66.23+1.6 27.08+1.1
Ca 20.64+1.2 22.80+1.1 134.60+1.5 28.60+1.2 24.60+0.7 132.80+1.3
Mg 44.80+1.1 72.00+1.2 18.00+0.1 58.18+1.7 78.00+1.3 16.00+1.1
K 266.40+2.1 284.00+2.0 156.00+1.3 248.40+2.3 288.00+1.8 196.00+1.2
Na 52.14+0.3 76.00+1.2 22.00+1.1 46.72+1.6 72.00+0.7 18.00+1.1
P 194.00+0.3 244.00+2.0 66.00+0.7 182.00+3.1 246.00+3.1 68.00+0.6
Data are mean+standard deviation of triplicate determinations
5. Conclusion
It is clear that the slight differences in the chemical
characters of the two species suggested a close affinity.
However, the stimulating property of seeds of Cola
acuminata would probably be higher than that of C. nitida,
due to higher alkaloid content. The absence of starch and
presence of hydrogen cyanide in the seeds of Cola
acuminata and vice versa could be used as additional
characters for delineating between the two species.
In addition, seeds, leaves and stem of the two plants have
high protein and mineral contents and therefore, could be
regarded nutritious; but moderate intake may be beneficial.
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The proximate, mineral and amino acid composition of various cultivars of three legumes consumed in Nigeria were compared. They include the African Yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa (Hochst ex. A. Rich) Harms.), Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L) Millsp.) and Cowpea (Vigna spp.). Results showed that, on average, apart from protein and ash, the proximate compositions of all the legumes were similar. The protein content of cowpea was significantly higher (P < 0·01) than those of the African Yam bean and Pigeon pea. Cowpea and Pigeon pea had significantly higher values for ash (P < 0·05) than the African Yam bean. Two popular cultivars of Vigna unguiculata (white and brown) contained lower values of dietary fibre, i.e. about 60% of the amount in the African Yam bean and 48% of that found in the Pigeon pea. Cowpea seemed to have a better mineral pattern than Pigeon pea and the African Yam bean. In terms of amino acid composition, the African Yam bean had a better pattern of essential amino acids (EAAs). All legumes were, however, deficient in cystine and methionine. In addition to these amino acids, Pigeon pea was also deficient in valine and isoleucine. The necessity of combining legumes with cereals is further stressed.
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Nitrogen-containing and other secondary plant products have evolved as a consequence of the struggle between the plant and the animal kingdoms, the latter directly or indirectly thriving on plants. During evolution plants developed bioactive and exceedingly complicated chemical structures that serve the purpose of plant defense. It is this property of those plants that has been exploited by mankind as medicines, poisons and recreational drugs. Three classes of nitrogen-containing plant products are being reviewed in this article: the alkaloids, the cyanogenic glucosides/glucosinolates and the nonprotein amino acids. It is the interplay of different scientific disciplines such as chemistry, pharmacognosy, medicine, analytics, cell biology, molecular biology, botany and chemotaxonomy that form a new and exciting area called "phytochemistry". It is foreseeable that this integration of disciplines across traditional borders will bring new achievements in phytochemistry, as history has taught us already.
Ethnobotanical Uses of Plants
  • L S Gill
L.S. Gill, Ethnobotanical Uses of Plants, 1st ed. Uniben Press, Benin. 1992; pp. 161.