Nutritional assessment of the plant, Spergula arvensis L.

Sundarapandian, Mahalakshmi ; Thekkekkara, Dithu ; Nanjan, Moola Joghee

Abstract

Spergula arvensis. var. sativa, commonly known as Corn spurry has been used as a green vegetable from prehistoric times by certain tribes. The composition and nutritional value of this plant, however, is not known. The nutritional assessment of the plant was, therefore, carried out. The components analyzed include moisture, carbohydrate, fat, protein, β-carotene, lycopene, micronutrients, macronutrients, vitamin A, vitamin C, energy, total antioxidants and amino acids. Antinutritional components such as tannins, total phenols and minerals were also analyzed. The study shows that the plant has low fat and sugar content but high potassium, calcium and sodium content. Mercury, nickel, lead and palladium are absent. Essential amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and histidine are high when compared to FAO/WHO standard reference values. The plant can, therefore, be used as an alternative source of food to overcome malnutrition problems.


Keyword(s)

Amino acids, Corn spurry, Food analysis, Minerals, Nutrition, Spergula arvensis L.

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