Nutritional potential of wild edible fruits, traditionally used by the local people of Meghalaya state in India
The nutritional potential of five wild edible fruits of the plant e.g. Artocarpus gomezianus Wall. ex Trécul, Baccaurea sapida Muell.-Arg.,Gomphogyne cissiformis Griff., Gymnopetalum cochinchinense Kurz and Zanthoxylum armatum DC., collected from Meghalaya state in India were evaluated by determining proximate and phytochemical composition. These plants are used by the local people of Meghalaya state in India as their food. The present study revealed that for different plant species, the crude fat content ranged between 0.75±0.02 - 12.54±0.04 %. The crude protein content was determined high in the fruits of G. cochinchinense (20.83±0.02 %), A. gomeziana(19.50±0.02 %) and G. cissiformis (18.82±0.02 %) while the available carbohydrate content was highest in the fruits of B. sapida(85.83±0.03 %). The nutritive value ranged from 343.01±0.09 - 418.18±0.08 kcal/100g in the various wild edible plants. Among the various macronutrients estimated in the samples of plants under study, potassium was present in the highest quantity (6.16±0.16- 57.22±0.84 mg/g) followed by calcium (2.88±0.11-10.74±0.13 mg/g) and sodium (0.17±0.004-0.66±0.005 mg/g). Micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium were analyzed. The result indicates that nutritional values and mineral contents of these fruits under investigation were richer than that of the commercial fruits and could be used for nutritional purpose. The present study also gives an account of ethnobotanical importance of the wild plants under investigation.
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