The proximate and mineral compositions of two dried Nigerian leafy vegetables (Corchorus olitorius and Amaranthus hybridus)
Keywords:Nigerian leafy vegetables, proximate compositions, mineral compositions, drying
Vegetables play an important role in human nutrition, but high moisture contents seem to lead to susceptibility to extreme spoilage. Thus, two dried Nigerian leafy vegetables (Corchorus olitorous and Amaranthus hybridus) proximate and mineral compositions were investigated to ascertain their nutritional potentials after drying. Fresh vegetable samples were destalked, washed, blanched, drained and dried in the open sun and in the oven at 50, 60 and 70oC temperatures. The proximate and mineral compositions were determined using standard analytical methods. The proximate values of Corchorus olitorius leaves ranged between 8.16 – 12.37%, 13.53 – 15.10%, 2.15 – 2.44%, 8.68 – 9.20%, 13.21 – 13.68% and 50.08 – 53.91% while Amaranthus hybridus leaves ranged between 8.85 – 12.97%, 15.72 – 17.70%, 1.20 – 1.78%, 9.02 – 9.17%, 16.89 – 19.53% and 42.98 – 44.21% respectively for moisture content, protein content, crude fat, ash, crude fiber and carbohydrate values. The results showed an increase in the mineral concentrations after drying, indicating that the vegetables studied are all good sources of sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Thus, drying vegetables can help reduce food insecurity and improve nutritional contents.