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Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes, Nutrition and Health Benefits

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Provisional chapter
Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes,
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Hanan Sobhy Amin Afifi and Ihsan Abu Al-rub
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
© 2016 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Nutrition and Health Benets
Hanan SobhyAmin A and Ihsan AbuAl-rub
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce is considered as one of the highly valued plants in the native
system of medicine for many arid and dry areas in the world. Ancient literature for
Arabian Gulf and Indian desert illustrated the important of the plant in treated vari-
ous ailments like asthma, dysentery, leucoderma, leprosy, dyspepsia, earache, etc. The
present chapter review the using of P. cineraria as unconventional legumes that not
well known as a rich and sustainable source of protein for many people in the world. It
emphasis on its broad food and nonfood applications, nutritional values and health ben-
ets. As well as looking at the phytochemical constituent’s content that has been identi-
ed in the various parts of the plant as alkaloid, steroids, alcohol and alkane. The present
paper describes the morphological trait of P. cineraria and identies the environmental
conditions required for its natural distribution. Historically, this plant has drag aention
for its various uses therefore, it has been considered as the National Tree of the United
Arab Emirates in the Arabian Gulf.
Keywords: Prosopis cineraria, Leguminosae, nutritional value, pharmacological
properties, usage, phytochemicals
1. Introduction
The continuous world population growth, inadequate protein sources, exorbitant cost of
animal protein are considered the main reasons for malnutrition and undernourishment
among people living in many developing countries around the world. To meet the increasing
demand of protein, alternative strategies and unconventional sources of protein for human
and animal nutrition have been considered recently.
© 2019 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Trees of Prosopis genus, which belongs to the Leguminosae family, are one of the most impor-
tant source of proteins in arid and semi-arid regions. Its capability to stand heat and tolerate
drought, salt, and alkalinity make Prosopis cultivated and distributed in many areas around
the world especially India, America, GCC, and MENA [1]. According to the recent studies,
the species Prosopis cineraria has signicant contribution in the farm economy and rural area
development. Undoubtedly, it shares with other Prosopis species numerous characteristics,
uses and eects, i.e., chemical composition, types of phytochemical components, and health
eects. Prosopis cineraria has been valued by dierent communities and cultures for the versa-
tility of all its parts and named as “the Wonder Tree” or “King of Desert” [2] or “the Golden
Tree of Indian deserts” [3]. The tree parts including leaves, pods, seeds and barks has been
used in many ways as food, i.e., our, drink, vegetable, and gum. Leaves and pods are used
for ruminant and animal feed. Prosopis cineraria extensively used in traditional medicine to
cure many diseases such as ailments like leprosy, dysentery, asthma, leucoderma, dyspep-
sia and earache [4–6]. Barks are used for non-nutritional purposes, i.e., wood, tanning, fuel,
rewood and charcoal. The Prosopis cineraria has many chemical constituents as alkaloid,
steroids, alcohol and alkane.
Despite its fabulous importance in local culture, there is minimal aware by the developed
communities about P. cineraria as unconventional legumes. Therefore, authors present a
comprehensive chapter about this important tree from all aspects including traditional uses,
biological and phytochemical investigation.
2. Botany
The genus Prosopis L. belongs to Leguminosae family, subfamily Mimosoideae and accom-
modates 44 species of which 40 are native to North and South Americas, three originate in
Asia, and one comes from Africa [7–9]. Trees of Prosopis L. are widespread in Western Asia,
Africa and arid and semi-arid regions in the Americas and Australia.
The species P. cineraria is native to dry and arid regions of Arabia and India [10]. Its main
population is center on the Thar Desert of India and Pakistan, with less dense populations
occur in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and Afghanistan [11]. It is considered the national tree
of the United Arab Emirates [12]. P. cineraria is known as Ghaf in Arabic, Khejri in Indian, and
Jand in Pakistan.
P. cineraria is an evergreen, thorny tree, 10–25 m in high. The stem is commonly straight, un-
branched for several meters with a gray roughish, exfoliated bark (Figure 1). The branches
are slender, drooped giving the canopy a rounded appearance with short triangular spines
(3–6 mm long) between leaves nodes. At the time of no grazing the lower branches can reach
to the ground. Leaves are gray-green, alternate usually divided into two pinnae, each pinna
has 7–14 pairs of oblong, oblique, apex leaets. The mid-rib nearer the upper edge, is sessile.
Flowers are small, yellow or creamy white, nearly sessile in slender pedunculated axil-
lary spikes 5–13 cm long. Pods are yellow to reddish brown with cylindrical shape and
slightly curved; 10–20 cm long and 0.5–0.8 cm thick. Seeds 10–25, oblong or rhomboidal,
Legume Seed Nutraceutical Research2
brown, smooth, with a moderately hard taste [13, 14]. The tap root of P. cineraria penetrates
vertically up to 20 m but can reach water at an extraordinary depth of 53 m or more [15].
Flowering and fruiting period is varied between locations and weather condition and gen-
erally from February to May after the new ush of leaves. The pods are mature almost after
2 months.
3. Environmental conditions
P. cineraria is a xerophytic plant that is well adapted to dry and arid environment. Under the
conditions of drought, the tree produces more owers and fruits [16]. In areas of its natural
distribution, the annual rainfall ranges between 100 up to 500 mm annually, whereas the
optimum density is conned to areas receiving 350–400 mm [17]. The climate is characterized
by extremes summer temperature varies from about 40–48°C [18]. It can tolerate frost and
withstand low temperature less than 10°C in the winter season.
The tree grows on a variety of soils. It is seen at its best on alluvial soils consisting of various
mixtures of sand and clay [19]. In arid areas, the growth is beer in dune lows than in sandy
plains. Good drainage is very essential. P. cineraria can grow under highly saline and alkaline
soils. However, it relatively salt tolerant at seed germination whereas seedling emergence was
found to be reduced to 50% in soil with a salinity of 7.6 dS m−1 and a further increase in salt
concentration was detrimental to seed germination [20].
4. Socio economic and ecological importance
P. cineraria is a multipurpose tree that holds an important role in the rural economy in
many arid regions, particularly in the Arabian Gulf and the northwest arid region of Indian
Figure 1. The tree of Prosopis cineraria, ower, leave and pods.
Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes, Nutrition and Health Benefits 3
sub-continent. Historically, the Bedouin and Indian uses all its part in their traditional life-
style [21–23]. It is used as a folk remedy for various diseases and conditions [24].
The unripe pods are used for making curry and pickle. The green pods are consumed as
vegetables. The our of mature pods is used for cookies preparation and other local dishes.
The leaves and dry pods are annually harvested for cale and sheep feed, where an adult tree
produce 2–5 kg/year dry pods. A resin occurring naturally on the tree, known as mesquite
gum, is also occasionally eaten by people [25].
P. cineraria as a leguminous tree has importance in improving soil fertility through xing
atmospheric nitrogen. Lier fall production for P. cineraria and decomposition rate are con-
sidered the highest comparing with other arid trees, and that build up soil organic maer
contents under its canopy, increase soluble calcium and available phosphorus and decrease
soil pH [26, 27]. Therefore, farmers tend to grow eld crops under its canopy to boost the
growth and productivity of their crops.
The rounded shape crown provides the shade and shelter for animals and wildlife during
hot season. It is widely used for sand dune stabilization program because of it is deep mass
root system which enable plant not to compete with others for moisture and nutrients [28].
It provides good quality resources of wood for basic construction and fuel for people in the
desert regions.
P. cineraria is one of major bee foraging plant in the Arabian Gulf [29], it supports honey bees
with long and abundant owering and honey produced is of a good quality.
5. Nutritional value
Numerous people around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, are suering from protein
deciency due to lack of protein-rich food. P. cineraria have 16.5–18.25% protein content com-
pared with 25.47% in Acacia nilotica and 38.89% in Acacia senegal [30]. On other hand, legumes
contain 18–35% protein [31], and cereals contain 10–15% protein [32]. Therefore, Prosopis
seeds are considered a potential and cheap source of protein for industrial use, especially
in developing Afro−Asian countries and can be an alternate protein source for solving the
protein-energy-malnutrition problem. The protein content, P. cineraria contains reasonable
amount of ash (5.34%), and ber (20.93%) [33–35]. Chemical composition of pods is varied
between individual trees that it inuenced by a wide range of environmental factors. The
P. cineraria pods have low moisture content (8.55%) that may be advantageous in increasing
of the pods shelf-life, 18% protein, 1.89% oil, 5.34% ash and 20.93% ber [34]. The P. cineraria
seed contains 10.6% oil, 28.6% of the oil are saturated fay esters, 68.3% are unsaturated fay
esters, and 3.1% are methyl hydroxy fay ester. Moreover, the seed oil is rich in oleic acid
(31.3%) along with linoleic acid (32.1%). Oil and seeds of P. cineraria show an absence of keto,
cyclopropenoid, and epoxy fay acids or any evidence for the presence of trans-unsaturation
or the presence of conjugation. In addition, the tree leaves have a good source of macro miner-
als as calcium (2.43%), phosphorus (0.16%) and potassium (0.41%). So, it can be used as good
food during the mineral decient periods [36].
Legume Seed Nutraceutical Research4
6. Usage
Besides the ecological value of P. cineraria tree, there are signicant utilizations centered on
its use for human food, animal feeds, medical purposes and many other applications. The
multipurpose and added value usages of P. cineraria tree; barks, pods, and leaves; will be
discussed with regards to its health benets and nutraceutical eects as follow:
6.1. Human nutrition/food application
P. cineraria tree are extensively used as human food in many area especially arid land region
and semi-desert as Arizona, India, California, South America and northwestern Mexico.
There are diverse uses of the P. cineraria tree parts; dried and undried pods, green and dry
leaves, and seeds; in human food. It is interesting to note that studies did not refer to the
presence of cyanogenic or toxic compounds in Prosopis parts as seeds or pods till now [3739].
The P. cineraria food applications include:
6.1.1. Vegetables
Leguminous Prosopis trees play a great role in feeding human in dry area to prevent protein
and mineral deciency especially during famine period. In these area, people used to eat
unripe green pods of P. cineraria that selling in their market as vegetables and children eat its
ripe fruits [2, 33, 40, 41]. In addition, green and unripe pods are also used in the preparation
of pickles and curries [3].
6.1.2. Flour
The Prosopis pods consist of three parts, mesocarp (56% of the pod) that grind to produce
our, endocarp (35%) that discard as waste alongside seeds (9%). People used the our to
make bread, cake, chapai by mixing with wheat our and sweets [40]. The Prosopis our con-
tains a high level of proteins (62%), dietary ber (25%) and low content of total carbohydrate
and fat in addition to dominant amounts of free polyphenol and carotenoids compounds as
shown in Table 1 [42]. Prosopis our is gluten-free, and a premium source of calcium, potas-
sium, magnesium, zinc, and iron, in addition to amino acids such as lysine that is low in
other cereals [11, 43]. Prosopis our has a unique combination taste that has been variously
described as; sweet or slightly nuy, with a sweet chocolate or coee avor, with a pleasant
hint of caramel or molasses, with a hint of cinnamon as it contains many volatile components,
i.e., γ-nonalactone, 5,6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one, 2,6-dimethylpyrazine, and methyl
salicylate [44]. Therefore, only 10 to 25% our is generally used in combination with other
ours because above than 25%, the taste becomes too strong for most palate. While, the desir-
able degree of browning for dierent bakery products was obtained using dierent adding
concentration, i.e., biscuits (5%), breads (10%), pancakes (15%) and chapai (50%).
The dried pods are used to make our after collecting pods directly from the tree or from
pods that have recently fallen to the ground. Sometimes they store the dried pods to provide
food year round. The our particle size is varied depending on the grinding processing,
Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes, Nutrition and Health Benefits 5
e.g., pounded using pestle and mortar produces coarse powder, while using stone grinding
produces a ne powder.
The Prosopis our assist the diabetic patient through helping maintain a healthy insulin sys-
tem in those people not aected by blood sugar troubles because of two reasons: rstly, the
Prosopis our requires a longer time to be digested compared with other grains, i.e., it needs
4 to 6 hours compared to 1 to 2 hours needs for wheat our to be digest. This help to sustains
constant blood sugar over time and prevents hunger. Secondly, the pods contain fructose,
which the body can process without insulin [45].
6.1.3. Syrup and drinks
In many places, the Prosopis species are used to make fermented, non-fermented beverages,
and syrup [46–50]. Nutritious syrup is produced by boiling the clean green pods in water after
breaking them into small pieces. Beans should be simmered for 2 hours with continuous add-
ing a small amount of water to avoid burning. Followed by mashing the pods to release more
of the sweet pulp with simmering for further few minutes. The juice then sieved through
strain and kept in clean containers to be used directly as a drink. Or more sugar can be added
to the juice and boil to produce unique avor syrup [51].
6.1.4. Gum
In addition to the previous uses, amber colored gum is produced from the P. cineraria tree. This
gum has similar properties to the gum produced from acacia tree [40]. Its exudate gum is liq-
uid, water soluble and slowly hardening. Moreover, this genus is not the only source of gum. A
galactomannan types interesting gum that called vinal gum is produced from P. ruscifolia [52].
6.2. Animal nutrition
P. cineraria is an important feed species under traditional livestock production systems in the
arid regions. Leaves and pods are highly palatable, nutritious and eaten readily by camels,
cale, sheep and goats.
Compounds Prosopis our Plain white wheat our
Energy (kcal/100 g) 361 338
Carbohydrate (g/100 g) 69.2 72.2
Total sugars (g/100 g) 13.0 1.5
Fiber (g/100 g) 47.8 3.2
Protein (g/100 g) 16.2 9.4
Fat content (g/100 g) 2.12 1.3
Saturated fay acids (g/100 g) 0.6 0.2
Table 1. Nutritional values of Prosopis our compared with plain white wheat our.
Legume Seed Nutraceutical Research6
The leaves contained 12.1% crude protein, 20.1% crude ber, 3.2% ether extract and 12.2%
ash [53]. The ripened pods contained 91% dry maer, 13.5% crude protein, 14.3% crude ber,
1.3% ether extract and 5.2% ash [54]. Feeding P. cineraria to sheep did not cause overt health
problems such as diarrhea or impaction. Though, it is not advisable to use leaves as a sole
feed for animal as it contain 8–10% tannins [55]. Increasing Prosopis tannin in the diet reduce
animal intake, digestibility of nutrients and body weight gain in sheep [54, 56] and goats [57].
In general goat showed superior eciency in utilizing P. cineraria leaves than that in sheep
[58]. However, feeding Prosopis tannin at 23 and 45 g/kg dry maer in the ration of lambs
and kids can achieve maximum microbial protein synthesis under intensive feeding system.
Beyond this level, Prosopis tannins will have anti-nutritional eects [59].
6.3. Health benets
Despite the economic importance of Prosopis spp. as food, plants have been used in tradi-
tional medicine to treat various human ailments since ancient history. Prosopis spp. is one of
these plants that possess many medicinal properties and used to cure many diseases. Studies
showed that leaves and seeds were largely used to treat many diseases such as diarrhea,
inammation, measles, diabetes and prostate disorders [4, 5].
The pods of P. cineraria contain alkaloids (good anesthetic and spasmolytic activity), Saponin
(boost immunity system of the body, lowering the cholesterol level in the body and reduc-
ing the risk of intestinal cancer), and tannins (produce anthelmintic activity). In addition
to the mineral content as zinc (relevant to the nutritional aspect as zinc supplementation in
diabetes mellitus have antioxidant eect), magnesium (important for proper functioning of
every organ like heart, muscle, and kidney), iron (used in anemia, tuberculosis and growth
disorder), calcium and phosphorous (useful for the bone, teeth, and ligament related dis-
order) [17, 60].
Moreover, studies show that the alkaloid mixture of P. cineraria in a dose of 1 mg/kg decreased
the blood pressure and immediate mortality of dogs. In contrast, extensive damage to the
liver, spleen, kidney, lung, and heart was observed on histological examination of mice given
the same alkaloid mixture [61].
6.3.1. Antimicrobial activity
Studies show that the methanolic extract of Prosopis pods has antimicrobial activity against
Candida albicans [62]. And the aqueous and methanolic extracts of stem bark have moderate
antibacterial activity at a dose of 250 μg/ml. In addition to the previous eects, the methanolic
extract shows signicant action on all pathogens. This antibacterial activity of Prosopis spp. is
due to the presence of avonoids and tannins [63].
6.3.2. Antihyperglycemic (antidiabetic) and antioxidant activities
Many researchers illustrated that the bark extract of the P. cineraria have abundant activity
in lowering blood sugar level by 27.3%, in addition, to signicant decrease in body weight
(29.6%) in diabetic rats when a dose of 300 mg/Kg mice body weight are given orally in daily
Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes, Nutrition and Health Benefits 7
base for 45 days [6, 64] explained the eect of the Prosopis extracts is due to activate the surviv-
ing of the β cells of the islets of langerhans and producing an insulinogenic eect.
6.3.3. Antihypercholesterolemic activity
The 70% hydroalcoholic bark extract dose of 500 mg/Kg BW of albino male New Zealand
white rabbits reduced signicantly the serum total cholesterol by 88%, LDL-C by 95%, tri-
glyceride by 59%, VLDL-C by 60% and ischemic indices compared to hypercholesterolemic
control [64–66].
6.3.4. Antitumor activities
A study on P. cineraria illustrated that a dose of 200 and 400 mg/Kg BW of hydroalcoholic
extract of leaves and bark have a signicant antitumor activity against Ehrlich ascites carci-
noma tumor model. In addition, the methanolic extract of the P. cineraria leaves shows signi-
cant radical scavenging activity. This eect is due to the inhibition of cell proliferation even
through inducing the cell death and/or extending the time for cell proliferation [67].
6.3.5. Antidepressant eect
Studies show that aqueous extract of the P. cineraria leaves have a signicant antidepressant
eect on mice and a similar eect of the antidepressant drugs. This is due to the presence
of some phytochemicals as saponins, avonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, and phenolic com-
pounds in these extracts [5].
6.3.6. Toxicity studies
Toxicity eect of 50% Hydroalcoholic extracts of Prosopis (at dose ranged between 50 and
2000 mg/Kg BW) through oral route of rats did not show any signicant eects in breathing,
behavior, sensory nervous system responses, cutaneous eects or had any mortality recorded
within 24 h after treatments [6]. Further studies are required to determine the toxicity eects
of the Prosopis extracts that might show adverse eects when consumed because it contains
piperidine alkaloids [68].
6.4. Other uses
These are not the only uses of the P. cineraria tree. The good bark considered a good source of
woods that can be used to make tool handles, boat frames, posts, and houses. While the poor
or bad quality bark can be used as timber [40]. In India; especially in the Punjab region; the
purplish brown bark used as fuel, rewood and used to produce high-quality charcoal. Leaf
galls of P. cineraria tree can be used also for tanning. While, leaves can be used as a source
of compost on the agricultural eld and owers are considered a good source for honey bee
forage. The produced honey is light yellow with pleasant taste and slight aroma and generally
of good quality [69].
Legume Seed Nutraceutical Research8
7. Phytochemicals
There are few studies on the chemistry and bioactive compounds of Prosopis species have
been published recently. Studies referred to the secondary metabolites compounds in plants
that are considered bioactive compounds and has diverse antinutritional and nutraceutical
features. Therefore, it can be potential as a source of bioactive products and used in func-
tional products. Refs. [61, 84–86] mentioned that Prosopis spp. tree generally contains various
phytochemical compounds as tannins, 5-hydroxytryptamine, isorhamnetin-3-diglucoside,
L-arabinose, quercetin, apigenin, and tryptamine. Studies conducted on phytochemical com-
pounds of P. cineraria showed that each part of the plant contains dierent types of these
compounds (Tables 2 and 3).
Plant part Chemical constituent present Medicinal eect
Flowers Patuletin glycoside patulitrin, luteolin and
rutin sitosterol, and spicigerine.
Flavone derivatives Prosogerin A and
Prosogerin B
-Flowers are known as an anti-diabetic agent.
-Flowers can be mixed with sugar when administered orally
prevent miscarriage.
-It contains Patulitrin3, 5, 6, 3, 4-pentamethoxy-7-hydroxy
avone which has signicant activity against Lewis lung
carcinoma in vivo.
References: [70, 71]
Leaves -Alkaloid: spicigerine
-Steroids: campesterol, cholesterol,
sitosterol, stigmasterol, actacosanol
-Alcohol: octacosanal, triacontane-1-ol,
-Alkane: hentriacontane, Diisopropyl-10,11-
References: [6, 72–76]
-Leaf paste of P. cineraria is applied on boils and blisters,
including mouth ulcers in livestock and leaf infusion on
open sores on the skin
-Smoke of the leaves is considered good for eye troubles and
References: [72, 77–80]
Seeds Prosogerin C, Prosogerin D, Prosogerin E,
gallic acid, patuletin, patulitrin, luteolin,
and rutin
Pods 3-benzyl-2-hydroxy-urs-12-en-28-oic
acid, maslinic acid-3 glucoside, linoleic
acid, prosophylline, 5,5′-oxybis-1,3-
benzenediol, 3,4,5-trihydroxycinnamic
acid 2-hydroxyethyl ester and
5,3′,4’trihydroxyavanone 7-glycoside
-Dry pods help in preventing protein calorie malnutrition
and iron calcium deciency in blood.
References: [3, 64]
Barks Hexacosan-25-on-l-ol, a new keto alcohol
along with ombuin and a triterpenoid
glycoside.vitamin K1, n-octacosyl acetate,
the long-chain aliphatic acid.
Presence of glucose, rhamnose, sucrose
and starch
-Bark used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, dysentery,
leucoderma, leprosy, muscle tremors and piles.
-Dierent extracts of stem bark possessed a weak
antibacterial activity.
References: [81–83]
Table 2. Phytochemical constituents of the Prosopis cineraria.
Prosopis cineraria as an Unconventional Legumes, Nutrition and Health Benefits 9
Phytochemicals Plant parts
Flower Leaf Pod Seed Stem
Aqueous Ethanol Aqueous Ethanol Aqueous Ethanol Aqueous Ethanol Aqueous Ethanol
Carbohydrates + + — — +++ +++ + + — —
Proteins — + + ++ ++ + +
Tannin + + + + + + — —
Flavonoids ++ +++ + + + ++ ++ ++ + —
Cardia glycoside + +
Alkaloids ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ + — —
Terpenes + + + + + ++ + +
Steroids + + +++ +++ — + ++ —
+; low concentration, ++; moderate concentration, +++; high concentration, −; absent.
Table 3. Concentration of phytochemicals of dierent parts of Prosopis cineraria among dierent solvents (water and ethanol extracts) [87].
Legume Seed Nutraceutical Research10
8. Conclusions
P. cineraria is a naturalized constituent of many natural and cultivated ecosystems in the world.
Its value, however, lies not only in its ability to thrive under adverse conditions, but also it pro-
vide wide range of useful product. In this unifying review, it was shown the morphological trait,
ecological and economical importance in addition to the nutritional value and health benets.
The authors tried to drag the aention toward this signicant tree as alternative type for the
traditional legumes and possibility to use it as a source of protein in free-gluten products and
functional foods which can be added value in food product development.
Future eorts are required to be focus on integrated management of P. cineraria in their natu-
ral ecosystem and implement environmental conservation strategies for achieving sustain-
able uses and maintain its benets to livelihood and coming generation.
Authors would like to thank Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, UAE.
Conict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conicts of interest regarding the publication of this
Author details
Hanan Sobhy Amin A* and Ihsan Abu Al-rub
*Address all correspondence to: hanan.a
Research and Development, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, UAE
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... The tree is a xerophytic plant that thrives in dry environments, producing more blooms and fruits in drought conditions [2]. It can also survive extreme summer temperatures (40-48 • C) and low temperatures of less than 10 • C [3]. ...
... Stock solutions (1 mg/mL) of GA 3 and BA hormones were prepared by mixing 100 mg of the hormone powder and 3-5 mL of solvent (Ethanol for GA 3 and KOH for BA). Once dissolved, the volume was completed to 100 mL by adding distilled water. ...
... Stock solutions (1 mg/mL) of GA 3 and BA hormones were prepared by mixing 100 mg of the hormone powder and 3-5 mL of solvent (Ethanol for GA 3 and KOH for BA). Once dissolved, the volume was completed to 100 mL by adding distilled water. ...
Full-text available
Seed priming is a cost-effective and efficient pre-sowing technique that promotes seed germination and plant growth under abiotic stress. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of different priming treatments on breaking the dormancy of ghaf (Prosopis cineraria L. Druce) seeds. Furthermore, the effects of storage conditions and seed coating on seed germination were examined. Treatments with hot water, KNO3, KCl, polyethylene glycol (PEG), H2SO4, gibberellin (GA3), cytokinin benzyl adenine (BA), and H2SO4 + BA were investigated. Among all the tested treatments, seeds responded the best to the H2SO4 50% 2 min + BA (200 ppm) priming treatment in terms of germination uniformity and effectiveness. This treatment initiated germination 5 days after sowing and increased the germination percentage from 11.32% in the untreated seed to 83% and 100% in the primed ones after 5 and 20 days, respectively. The germination percentage and primary root length were shown to be more responsive to this combined treatment, followed by the H2SO4 50% 2 min+ BA 100 ppm. This treatment achieved the best result of 100% germination when the seeds were covered in a seed ball. Additionally, the treated seeds could be stored at room temperature or 4 °C for more than 10 days with no negative effect on the germination. Based on these findings, this treatment could be recommended to farmers and plant producers to boost the mass production of ghaf trees.
... The tree is a xerophytic plant that thrives in dry environments, producing more blooms and fruits in drought conditions [2]. It can also survive extreme summer temperatures (40-48 • C) and low temperatures of less than 10 • C [3]. ...
... Stock solutions (1 mg/mL) of GA 3 and BA hormones were prepared by mixing 100 mg of the hormone powder and 3-5 mL of solvent (Ethanol for GA 3 and KOH for BA). Once dissolved, the volume was completed to 100 mL by adding distilled water. ...
... Stock solutions (1 mg/mL) of GA 3 and BA hormones were prepared by mixing 100 mg of the hormone powder and 3-5 mL of solvent (Ethanol for GA 3 and KOH for BA). Once dissolved, the volume was completed to 100 mL by adding distilled water. ...
... Mesquites (Prosopis spp.) are species of the legume family found mainly in semi-arid and arid areas of Mexico. Most of the species are native to the Americas (40), some to Asia (3), and Africa (1) [8][9][10][11]. In addition, mesquite has been consumed since ancient times in countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, among others. Mesquite flour is the product obtained by grinding the whole ripe pods of the Prosopis tree [3,12,13]. ...
... However, other studies report that the high tannin content in some flours has also been associated with a slightly bitter, acrid, and astringent aftertaste that may negatively affect consumer acceptance [1,2,16]. In addition, Afifi et al. [9] mention that Prosopis flour is generally used in concentrations of 10-25% since the flavor becomes too strong for most palates. Regarding the sensory texture attribute, the values of WFMF 90:10, WFMF 75:25, and the control were significantly similar (p > 0.05), with scores that fluctuated between 4.45 and 4.65. ...
Full-text available
In this research, muffin-type bakery products were developed based on wheat flour (WF) and mesquite flour (MF) in the following proportions: WFMF 90:10, WFMF 75:25, and WFMF 50:50. The products were characterized based on various properties in which it was possible to observe that the water activity (aw) did not show a significant change with the increase in the concentration of MF. In addition, the increase in the concentration of MF modified the sensory properties (color, odor, flavor, texture, and acceptance), further decreasing the luminosity and increasing the values of the a* and b* coordinates. Moreover, in the texture profile analysis, it was found that the increase in the MF concentration increased hardness, fracturability, and gumminess and decreased adhesiveness and cohesiveness. All the previously mentioned changes were more evident in the WFMF50:50 and, to a lesser degree, in WFMF75:25. In general, in most evaluations realized, the WFMF90:10 treatment was the most similar to the control (without MF). However, WFMMF75:25 provided a higher protein and fiber content and a lower fat content. Finally, it is possible to use the flour obtained from the mesquite fruit to make bakery products since it is an important source of food due to the wide distribution of mesquite in the country.
... Compared to the usual protein content in legumes (18-35%) and cereals (10-15%), studies have found that seeds of P. cineraria contained 16.5-18.25% protein and those of A. senegal and Acacia nilotica contained 38.89% and 25.47% protein respectively, where the protein content is represented in terms of g/100g plant material [24]. Low moisture content of P. cineraria pods (8.55%) enhances the shelf life of the pods, thereby making it suitable for storage purposes (Fig. 1b). ...
... The green pods are used especially as vegetable, pickles and flour. (Afifi and Al-rub 2018;Meena et al. 2022). It is a good source of timber, fuel wood, fodder, shade, and improve soil fertility and stabilize sand dunes in arid regions as well. ...
Full-text available
Agroforestry is an integrated land use for agriculture and forestry which can ensure food security as well as forest cover. Notwithstanding, competition for natural resources can occur in some cases. Therefore, the present study was conducted to assess the effect of Prosopis cineraria on wheat growth and production. Wheat growth and production parameters were recorded at three distances from the tree base, as well as four aspects of the tree at five localities. The parameters recorded were; number of wheat plants m⁻², number of tillers plant⁻¹, leaf plant⁻¹, wheat biomass m⁻² and wheat production m⁻². The results showed a marginal effect on wheat growth and production on the southern aspect and at 12.0 m distance from the tree base. Similarly, the effect was highly significant (p < 0.01) at 3.0 m distance from the tree base and also on the northern aspect of the tree. However, this effect varied with locality to locality. The highest mean wheat production was 84.03 ± 6.00 g m⁻² at Shahab-Khel. The wheat production was > 31% and 54% at 12.0 m distance from tree base on southern aspect compared to 3.0 m distance and northern aspect, respectively. Based on these findings it is concluded that effect of forest tree on wheat production can further be minimized by sowing wheat crop at a distance ≥ 12 m from tree base and also on lopping of the tree in winter to reduce shade effect northern aspect.
Full-text available
This review article explores a range of lesser-known sacred plants that are indigenous to the Indo-Gangetic plain. According to tradition, certain plants, animals, rivers, and even mountains possess unique divine powers that contribute to the well-being of human life. Plants, in particular, have a profound impact on human culture, customs, religious practices, folklore, and cuisine. Various gods and goddesses are linked with trees, which also helps in their conservation. These sacred plants have many aesthetic as well as nutritional values helpful for humans. It was observed by scientists that all these sacred plants have immense pharmacological, and phytochemical use in day-today life. They also have strong anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic, and anti-tumor healing capacities.
Full-text available
Studying the physiological effects of the three extraction solvents (water, methanol, and acetone) on the antioxidant activity of Khejri stem bark extract was the goal of this research (Prosopis cineraria L.). Khejri stem bark is characterized by their chemical and mineral composition. Higher phenol content, total flavonoid and antioxidant activity could be obtained using acetone as a solvent, followed by methanol and aqueous solution. The tested plant material contained a significant amount of total phenols (2.31 ± 0.13 mg GAE/g) and total flavonoids (0.88 ± 0.14 mg EC/g) in the acetone extract. With an increase in dynamically variable concentration levels, Khejri stem bark extract’s ability to scavenge DPPH free radicals rises. The total antioxidant capacity of the acetone extract was the greatest (1.180.89 mg AAE/g), and the acetone extract demonstrated the strongest free radical scavenging activity of DPPH and IC50 value was 179.44 mg/ml.
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As the spectre of climate change gains in strength with each passing moment, many of our mundane food crops like rice face the heat, leading to uncertain yields and unforeseen disease outbreaks. Subsequently, mankind is forced to look for alternative food choices that should primarily come from indigenous plants that are less demanding in terms of usage of water and application of chemical-based fertilizers/pesticides. There are plants growing in the wild in the arid and semi-arid zones of Rajasthan, India, that can come to the rescue, with an added potential for development into valuable functional foods-i.e., not only as source of carbohydrates, proteins, and micro-nutrients but also that of health benefiting nutraceuticals (like antioxidant flavonoids) and relevant enzymes. The other parts (non-edible) of these plants have often also been traditionally validated via diverse ethnomedicinal practices; these could also be useful bioenergy sources. Keeping in mind the broader aim of looking at future functional foods that are also required to be environmentally sustainable, the current report: (a) reviews the extant literature on underutilized legumes from arid/semi-arid zones, (b) discusses current status with respect to biological activities present therein, and (c) suggests pertinent research questions and solution paths in the domains of bioactives, bioenergy, and sustainable environment.
Trees have been the most important source of quality fodder for the livestock since ages. Today’s scenario of fodder deficiency in the country like India has created a high demand for tree-based fodder to strengthen the livestock health and sustain the production of quality milk. Trees being multipurpose and important in the context of various ecological services also provide high quantity of fodders enriched with the high proteins, minerals, and various useful pharmaceutical compounds for livestock and ruminant. Though trees are an important resource, breeding for its genetic improvement is at a very nascent stage owing to long breeding cycle, open pollination, and high heterozygosity. Germplasm collection, their progeny testing or provenance trials, and diversity analysis for identification of superior types were the common objectives of breeding. However, in recent years, the development of genetic and genomic resources has opened a new niche for quicker genetic gain and performing the trait-specific genetic improvement in the fodder trees. These traits have involved the fodder quantity and quality as well as tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. This chapter focuses on the 15 major tree fodder species and the status of breeding research progress to supplement the fodder requirement in the current context of climate change.KeywordsTree fodderGenetic improvementGenetic and genomic resourcesClimate change
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Prosopis, also known as ‘Kalpvriksha’ is an important tree of arid and semi- arid region of Rajasthan. The two species of this genus i.e., Prosopis cineraria and Prosopis juliflora are used as food, fodder, fuel, gums, tannins and medicine. These plants survive under high temperature, salinity and drought conditions when most of the other traditional plants fail to grow. The objective of the study was to estimate the effect of salinity on shoot length, root length, number of leaves, leaf pigments, protein, proline, and soluble carbohydrate contents in Prosopis cineraria and Prosopis juliflora under salinity conditions. The seedlings were treated with salt concentrations ranging from 0 to 300 mM (i.e., 0, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 250 and 300 mM). The seedlings were harvested for the experimental work after 15 days. The protein, proline and soluble carbohydrates content of both the plants increased with the increase in salinity. The shoot and root length, number of leaves and leaf pigments of both the plants decreased under salt stress. The results show that with the change in salinity the content of different solutes like proline, protein and soluble carbohydrates and the leaf pigments also changes. The results indicate that the two species under study are highly tolerant to salinity. As these are highly tolerant to salinity and drought, during adverse conditions they are a means of sustainable livelihood to the inhabitants of this desert region.
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Prosopis spicigera Linn. (Family, Fabaceae) is commonly known as "Sami". It is distributed throughout the arid regions of India and other countries. Sami is caducous plant, so in the foliage condition stem and fruits are common. It is also commonly known as Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce. It is one of the chief indigenous tree of the plains of the Punjab, Western Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bundelkhand and the neighborhoods of Delhi and Agra. This plant is xerophytic and draught resistant plant, it can survive for long. Tribal people use this plant as fodder and source of wood. Some of the community uses Sami fruits as food. Prosopis cineraria is a moderate sized evergreen thorny tree, with slender branches armed with conical throns and with light yellowish-green foliage. It contains sugars, five flavonones, fatty acids, tannins and alkaloids. The flavone glycoside patulitrin has been isolated from the flowers. Recently a novel variant on the piperidine-3-ol alkaloid is reported, which is spicigerin. Fruits are used as a food for the people in the desert area during scarcity. Fruits are rich source of vitamins. The leaves besides the pods are eaten by camels, goats and cattle as a fodder. Ashes of the wood rubbed over skin to remove hair. The wood is a good fuel for the preparing food in the tribal area. Prosopis cineraria flower is pounded, mixed with sugar and used during pregnancy as safeguard against miscarriage in women. The bark of the tree is dry, acrid, and bitter with a sharp taste and used in leprosy, dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, leucoderma and scorpion sting. The plant is recommended for the treatment of snakebite in rural area. The present review is an effort to emphasize the traditional uses, pharmacognostical, phytochemical and pharmacological information on Prosopis spicigera Linn. Journal home page: Dangar et al.
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Secondary plant metabolites are regarded as promising sources of plant-protecting substances and they are one of the most important lines of plant defense against pests. The range of cellular targets for these substances is very wide and covers metabolic pathways, macromolecules and organelles. In consequence, the plant derivatives study represents a critical situation in which toxic effects against other organisms need to be evaluated in relation to its biological benefits. The genus Prosopis (Fabaceae) include 44 species and is considered among the world's most damaging invasive species. The genus had been found in 129 countries globally and many more countries are climatically suitable. Prosopis physiology evidences a wide range of adaptability, shows the capability to growth in several adverse conditions, accumulates heavy metals and synthetizes chemical defences. Curiously, since antiquity, some Prosopis species around the world were described as important source of ethnopharmacological treatments for several illnesses. Toxicity against prokaryote microorganisms, fungus, parasites, mosquitoes, vertebrate animals and humans is revised in the current work. In accordance to the reviewed literature, it is possible to conclude that more specific research could make Prosopis species an important source of nutraceuticals and phytopharmaceutical compounds. Moreover, by its selective toxic effects, plant derivatives can be used as important source of new and successful bioactive molecules.
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Vegetarian and vegan nutrition have become fashionable. Some consumers now see themselves as partial vegetarians and greatly restrict their consumption of animal products. This has led to an increase in the demand for alternative sources of protein, in the form of legumes and their processed products. Proteins enhance the feeling of fullness and can contribute to lowering blood pressure. Moreover, plant proteins have a favorable effect on lipid metabolism. For this reason, legume flours are important sources of plant protein. Flours from soya, lupin, chickpea and green pea have been studied. The highest content of protein was found in soya and lupin, which both contained ca. 35 g protein per 100 g. Lupin flour had the highest content of kernel fiber, corresponding to 35 g/100 g soluble kernel fiber. In addition, lupin and soya flour only had a low content of easily digestible carbohydrates: ca. 8-10 g/100 g. Cereal flour had a high content of starch and a low content of protein and is used in making bread, cakes and pastries; one possibility would be to replace 10-20% of this with legume flour. The amino acids contained in the legume flour would enhance the nutritional value of the cereal protein. The fat content in legume flours other than soya flour was clearly under 10 g/100 g. The omega-6/omega-3 ratio in lupin and green pea flour was in accordance with the recommended maximal ratio of 5:1. Most legume flours are a good source of magnesium, iron and zinc, as well as of vitamin E, the B vitamins, and carotenoids. Aside from their nutritional and physiological benefits, legume flours are cheaper than protein and fiber extracts from legumes. For ecological and nutritional/physiological reasons, only plant protein should be used to enrich protein relative to fats and carbohydrates. Lupin is an interesting alternative to soya beans in Europe, as it has a high content of protein. Legume flour can be used to enrich bread, cakes or pastries, or meat products. It supports good health and is easy to process.
On the eve of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in autumn 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recommended five specific areas as focal points of discussion for the global forum: Water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. In his address, "Towards a Sustainable Future," delivered just four months before the WSSD, Secretary General Annan contended that concrete progress in each of these areas, often referred to by their acronym WEHAB, would be key to improving the quality of life not only in the developing world but across the globe. For most people, I think it is fair to say that the inclusion of biodiversity in a list that focuses on basic human needs may not be self-evident. Water, energy, health and agriculture, yes. But why biodiversity? The truth is that biodiversity is just as critical to global well-being as water, energy, agriculture and health. This is because biodiversity both drives and shapes nature's intricate and dynamic structure in an enduring form and force that enables both current and future generations to enjoy its bounty.
The rapid extension of the world's arid areas – some five million hectares annually – has greatly stimulated interest in the development of agricultural systems sustainable in areas of extremely low rainfall. The possibilities naturally depend very much on local circumstances, but investigation of Prosopis and Acacia species under the severe conditions of the Wahiba Sands of Oman indicates that they have considerable potential under extremely arid conditions.
The Prosopis alba seed is a waste material in the process to produce pod flour. To suggest a potential use of these seeds it is necessary to determine the nutritional, phytochemical and functional quality of cotyledon flour from Prosopis alba. This flour showed high level of proteins (62%), low content of total carbohydrate and fat. Free polyphenol (1150 ± 20 mg GAE/100 g flour) and carotenoids (10.55 ± 0.05 mg β-CE/100 g flour) compounds were the dominant compounds. The main identified constituents in the polyphenolic extracts were C- glycosyl flavones, including schaftoside, isoschaftoside, vicenin II, vitexin and isovitexin. The extract enriched in polyphenolic compounds exhibited ABTS+ reducing capacity and scavenging activity of H2O2; and was able to inhibit phospholipase, lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, three pro-inflammatory enzymes. According to our results, the P. alba cotyledon flour could be considered as a new alternative in the formulation of functional foods or food supplements.