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Nutritional Potential of the Leaves and Seeds of Black Nightshade-Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum from Afikpo-Nigeria

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  • Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo

Abstract and Figures

The nutritional potential of the leaves and seeds of Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum was assessed by determining proximate and phytochemical composition. Results indicate protein content of the leaves and seed as 24.90% and 17.63% respectively. Other findings are ash 10.18% and 8.05%, crude fibre, 6.81% and 6.29 and carbohydrate, 53.51 and 55.85% for the leaves and seed respectively. Mineral analysis revealed the order Mg>K>Ca>Fe>Na>Mn>Zn in the leaves and Mg>K>Fe>Ca>Na>Mn>Zn in the seeds. Phosphorus and sulphur levels were 75.22 and 8.55 mg/100g in the leaves and 62.50 and 14.48, g/100g in the seeds. Vitamin content indicate the order vit C>vit B,>Folic acid>Vit E>Vit A in both the leaves and seeds. Phytochemical analysis revealed high oxalate, phenol but low sterol content in the studied plant materials. Cyanide levels were higher in the leaves compared to the seeds. These results suggest that S. nigrum L. Var virginicum to be nutritive despite the presence of some anti-nutritive components like oxalate.
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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 6 (4): 323-326, 2007
ISSN 1680-5194
© Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2007
323
Nutritional Potential of the Leaves and Seeds of Black Nightshade-
Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum from Afikpo-Nigeria
I.E. Akubugwo, A.N. Obasi and S.C. Ginika
Department of Biochemistry, Abia State University, PMB 2000, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria
Abstract: The nutritional potential of the leaves and seeds of Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum was
assessed by determining proximate and phytochemical composition. Results indicate protein content of the
leaves and seed as 24.90% and 17.63% respectively. Other findings are ash 10.18% and 8.05%, crude fibre,
6.81% and 6.29 and carbohydrate, 53.51 and 55.85% for the leaves and seed respectively. Mineral analysis
revealed the order Mg>K>Ca>Fe>Na>Mn>Zn in the leaves and Mg>K>Fe>Ca>Na>Mn>Zn in the seeds.
Phosphorus and sulphur levels were 75.22 and 8.55 mg/100g in the leaves and 62.50 and 14.48, g/100g
in the seeds. Vitamin content indicate the order vit C>vit B,>Folic acid>Vit E>Vit A in both the leaves and
seeds. Phytochemical analysis revealed high oxalate, phenol but low sterol content in the studied plant
materials. Cyanide levels were higher in the leaves compared to the seeds. These results suggest that S.
nigrum L. Var virginicum to be nutritive despite the presence of some anti-nutritive components like oxalate.
Key words: Solanum nigrum, proximate and photochemical composition
Introduction
Traditional societies have always exploited edible wild
plants to provide adequate nutrition, food security and
income generation (Omoti and Okyi, 1987; Antia et al.,
2006; Dhellot et al., 2006a). These wild plants serve as
an indispensable constituent of human diet supplying
the body with minerals, vitamins and certain hormone
precursors, in addition to protein and energy (Onyenuga
and Fetuga, 1995; Fleuret, 1979; Edmonds and Chweya,
1997). However, many of these inexpensive nutritive wild
plants are yet to be adequately studied and utilized.
Among these leafy vegetables are the leaves and seed
(fruits) of Black nightshade.
Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum) is
an annual herbaceous plant (and may sometimes be
perennial) which can reach up to 100cm in height. The
stem may be smooth or bear small hairs (trichomes).
The flowers usually white in colour, have five regular
parts and are up to 0.8cm wide. The leaves are alternate
and some what ovate with irregularly toothed wavy
margin and can reach 10cm in length and 5cm in width.
The fruit is a round fleshy berry up to 2cm in diameter
and yellowish when ripe. The seeds are brown and
numerous. It is a common species in arable lands, near
rivers and old walls, grows everywhere in Africa and
America (Edmonds and Chewya, 1997).
Occasionally, the leaves and seeds (berries) are used
as vegetable in soup, Yam and coco yam porridges and
as spinach in some parts of Nigeria particularly among
the Igbos and Efik-Ibibio people of South-Eastern
Nigeria. Besides being used for human consumption,
the leaves serve as fodder and browse for domestic
herbivorous animals.
According to (Pereez et al., 1998) and (Son et al., 2003),
the extract of its fruits have anti-tumour and neuro-
pharmacological properties and can be used as an anti-
oxidant and cancer chemo preventive matter. Though
information on the pharmacological properties seems to
abound in literature, there is little information on the
chemical compositions of Solanum nigrum L. Var
virginicum leaves and seeds. The present study
therefore aimed at assisting in closing this gap in
knowledge on Black nightshade leaves and seeds
especially from the Eastern part of Nigeria. This
information will highlight the usefulness or otherwise of
this under-utilized plant.
Materials and Methods
The leaves and seeds (berries) of Solanum nigrum L.
Var virginicum were obtained from Eke main market,
Afikpo North Local Government Area, Ebonyi State,
Nigeria and identified by a taxonomist in the Department
of Plant Science and Biotechnology, of Abia State
University, Uturu. The leaves were cleaned destalked,
weighed and oven dried at 60 C for 24hrs.
o
After drying, the leaves and seeds were ground
separately into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle,
sieved and stored in an air-tight contained, kept in a
desiccators until analyzed.
Proximate composition, mineral elements and the
vitamins (A, B, C, folic acid and E ) were determined by
the method of (AOAC, 1984).
Moisture content determination involved drying a known
weight of sample to a constant weight at 60 C in an oven
o
(Gallen kamp hot box).
Determination of ash content involved incineration in a
muffle furnace (Gallen kamp hot box) at 550 C for 8hrs.
o
Crude fat determination involved Soxhlet extraction of a
known weight of sample with petroleum ether (b, p 40-
Akubugwo et al.: Nutritive Value of S. nigrum Seed and Leaves
324
Table 1: Proximate of Composition Solanum nigrum L. Var.
virginicum leaves and seeds in
Parameters %Dry Matter %Dry Matter
of Leaves of Seeds
Caloric value (Kcal) 355.04±0.19 43.54±0.19
Ash content 10.18±0.02 8.05±0.04
Crude fat 4.60±0.01 12.18±0.02
Crude Protein 24.90±0.02 17.63±0.01
Crude fibre 6.81±0.01 6.29±0.01
Carbohydrate 53.51 0.01 55.85±0.03
Moisture content 84.70±0.01 76.86±0.04
Values are mean±S.D of triplicate determinations
Table 2: Elemental Composition of Solanum nigrum L. Var.
virginicum leaves and seeds
Mineral Elements Composition (Mg- Composition (Mg-
/100g) of Leaves /100g) of Seed
Calcium, Ca 17.33±0.03 11.82±0.02
Magnesium, Mg 247.59±0.01 201.36±0.01
Iron, Fe 13.01±0.01 12.91±0.01
Zinc, Zn 0.07±0.01 0.05±0.01
Potassium, K 42.89±0.02 37.19±0.02
Sodium, Na 2.71±0.02 2.11±0.02
Manganese, Mn 1.52±0.02 0.86±0.01
Phosphorus, P 75.22±0.02 62.50±0.00
Sulphur, S 8.55±0.01 14.48±0.01
Values are mean±S.D of triplicate determinations
60 C) and methanol mixed properly in the ration 1:1.
o
Determination of crude protein was done using the
micro Kjeldahl nitrogen method which involves the
digestion of a given weight of the sample with
concentrated H SO and catalyst to convert any organic
2 4
nitrogen to ammonium sulphate, (NH ) SO in solution
4 2 4
followed by the decomposition of ammonium sulphate
with NaOH. The ammonia liberated was distilled into
5%boric acid. The nitrogen from ammonia was deduced
from titration of the trapped ammonia with 0.05NHCl
using methylene red and methylene blue (double
indicator solution) indicators. The value of nitrogen
obtained was multiplied by the general factor (6.25) to
give the % crude protein.
Crude fibre was obtained from the loss in weight on
ignition of dried residue remaining after digestion of fat-
free samples with 1.25% each of sulphuric acid and
sodium hydroxide solutions under specified condition
i.e. Loss of weight of ignition x 100
% crude fibre =-----------------------------------------
Weight of sample used
Carbohydrate content was determined by subtracting the
total ash content, crude fat lipid), crude protein and crude
fibre from the total dry matter.
The caloric value estimation was done by summing the
multiplied values for crude protein, crude fat (lipid) and
carbohydrate (excluding crude fibre) by their respective
AT WATER factors (4,9,4).
The mineral elemental constituents (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, K,
Na, Mn, P and S) in Solanum nigrum L. Var virginicum
leaves and seeds were analyzed separately, using
atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Hitachi 26100
model) after acid digestion of the samples.
For the phytochemicals, Alkaloids, Saponins, Flavonoids
Anthocyanin, and sterols were determined by the
methods of (Harborne, 1973). Tanins, Phytic acid and
Hydrogen cyanide were determined by alkaline titration
methods (A.O.A.C, 1984) and total Polyphenol was
determined by the method of (Swain, 1979). This
method involves extraction of polyphenol with methanol
at 80 C for one hour and then quantifying the bluish
o
extract spectrophotometrically at 760nm. Total oxalate
was determined by the permanganate titration method
of (Dye, 1956).
Results and Discussion
Proximate composition of leaves and seeds of solanum
nigrum L. Var virginicum is as presented in Table 1. Ash,
fibre, crude protein and moisture contents were higher
in the leaves compared to the seeds.
The ash content of the leaves (10.18%) is similar to the
values reported for some commonly consumed leafy
vegetable in Nigeria, including Ocinum graticinum,
Hibiscus esculenta and Ipomea batata. It is however;
lower than the reported value of 20.05% for Talinum
triangulare (Akindahunsi and salawu, 2005; Antia et al.,
2006). Ash content of the seeds obtained in the present
study is 8.05%. This value compares favourably with a
reported value of 7.18% for S. nigrum from Congo
Brazzavile (Dhellot et al., 2006b).
The lipid content observed for S. nigrum leaves is
similar to those reported for calchorus africa,
Amaranthus hybidus I. triangulare but about half the
value for Bacsilla alba leaves (Ifon and Basir, 1979;
Akindahunsi and salawu, 2005) lipid content of the seed
of S. nigrum observed in this study is similar to that of a
number of tropical plant seeds chrysophyllum albidum
and Dacroydes edulis (Akubugwo and Ugbogu, 2007),
but much lower than the values for canarium
schweinfurthii, Balanites aegyptiaca.
Pulp and Cotton (kapseu et al., 1997; Kapseu and
Permantier, 1997; Kapseu et al., 1999; Dzondo et al.,
2005). Therefore, S. nigrum seed contains moderate
lipid content.
The fibre, carbohydrate and crude protein content of both
the leaves and seeds of S. nigrum observed in this study
are similar to reported values for a number of tropical
plants (Afolabi et al., 1986; Dhellot, 2006 a, b).
Compared to the energy content value of 304.99Kcal for
Xanthosoma sagittofolium and 355.19 kcal for colocosia
esculenta leaves, (Davidson et al., 1975), S. nigrum is a
good source of energy.
Mineral element analysis as shown in Table 2 indicates
that S. nigrum contains high levels of magnesium and
phosphorus but relatively low level of zinc. This study
also indicates the vit C content to be high while vit A is
Akubugwo et al.: Nutritive Value of S. nigrum Seed and Leaves
325
Table 3: Vitamin Composition of Solanum nigrum L. Var
Virginicum leaves and seeds
Vitamins Composition (Mg- Composition (Mg-
/100g) of Leaves /100g) of Seeds
Vitamin A 4.66±0.02 1.71±0,03
Vitamin B1 17.14±0.01 10.91±0.01
Vitamin C 35.18±0.02 23.38±0.01
Folic acid 11.61±0.01 8.13±0.02
Vitamin E 9.72±0.02 5.71±0.01
Values are mean ± S.D of triplicate determinations.
Table 4; Phytochemical Compositions of Solanum nigrum L. Var.
virginicum leaves and seeds
Phytochemicals Composition (Mg- Composition (Mg-
/100g) of Leaves /100g) of Seeds
Alkaloids 1.62±0.02 1.07±0.05
Saponins 0.25±0.01 0.16±0.01
Falvonoids 0.81±0.01 1.01±0.01
Anthocyanim 0.13±0.01 0.08±0.01
Sterols 0.05±0.00 0.00±0.00
Tannins 0.19±0.01 0.00±0.00
Total Oxalate 78.65±0.04 58.81±0.01
Phytic acid 0.82±0.01 04.48±0.02
Total Polyphenol 13.17±0.02 14.69±0.01
Cyanide 10.63±0.02 1.53±0.02
Values are mean±S.D of triplicate determinations.
low. In deed, as shown in Table 3, the order of
magnitude of the studied vitamins is vit C>vit B>
Folicacid>vit E>vit A. Though the vitamins content of the
samples are low, consumption of this plant material will
contribute in meeting the daily vitamin requirement as
stipulated for healthy adults (National Academy of
Science, 2004).
Results of phytochemical evaluation are as presented in
Table 4. The result indicates that oxalate levels were
high in both leaves and seed of S. nigrum, and that
sterols and tannins were below detectable levels in the
seed. Apart from total phenols and flavonoids, the level
of other studied phytochemical was higher in the leaves
relative to the seed. The oxalate level is similar to that
reported for Telferia occidentalis and Vanonia amygdalin
(Mc-Graw, 1987). Oxalate is an anti-nutrient.
Consumption of S. nigrum may though elicit adverse
physiological responses. However, initial processing
such as cooking is known to significantly reduce total
oxalate content of vegetables (Akwaowo et al., 2000).
This may therefore mitigate the potent adverse effect of
consuming the plant that Phytochemicals have potential
beneficial effects such as polyphenols which reduce
blood pressure while saponins may prevent cancer.
(Richelle et al., 2001; Sharp, 1997) .
Conclusion: This study showed that S. nigrum L. Var
virginicum leaf and seed from Ebonyi state, Nigeria
contain appreciable levels of protein, fibre and
carbohydrate. The study further revealed that it is a good
source of magnesium phosphorus and the water
soluble vitamins such as vit C, B and folic acid.
Though the leaves in particular contain relatively high
levels of oxalate and cyanide, the processing methods
prior to consumption which may include cooking reduce
their final consumed amount. In summary therefore, the
plant has high nutritional value and is recommended as
a cheap source of plant protein, energy and mineral
elements such as magnesium and phosphorus.
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... reported by Antia et al. (2006) for sweet potatoes leaves. The result revealed low level of oxalate in both samples when compared with other plants seeds including Buccholzia coricea (1.06 mg/100 g) in Amaechi (2009), Solanum nigrum (58.81 mg/100 g) in Akubugwo et al. (2007), Gnetum africanum (209.00 mg/100 g) in Ekop (2007), Solanum incanum (22.4±0.21-23.0±0.01 mg/100 g) in Auta et al. (2011), sweet potatoes leaves (308.00±1.04 mg/100 g) in Antia et al. (2006) and Treculia africana (8.01±0.04 to 11.37±0.10 ...
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