ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 69 Number 2
Chemical evaluation of exotic grain amaranth seed planted in the humid lowlands of West Africa
Seeds harvested from Amaranthus cruentus, A. caudatus, A. hybridus and A. hypochondriacus planted under West African ecological conditions were analysed for their chemical and nutritional properties. Despite the agronomic environment, nutrient contents - protein, 18.2 ± 1.2%; carbohydrate, 65.2 ± 2.4%; crude fat, 5.7 ± 0.7% and total dietary fibre, 19.6 ± 5.7% - were comparable with figures obtained elsewhere and with values earlier reported for the parent stock. Levels of the nutritive macrominerals, K, Mg, Ca, and of the microminerals, Cu, Fe, Zn, as well as essential amino acids, lysine (4.8 g/16 g N) and sulphur-containing amino acids (3.8 g/16 g N) were high. The lipid fraction was very rich in unsaturated fatty acids (76.2 ± 1.6%) with a mean ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acid of 0.27. Although the grains contain phytate (5.90-23.50 mg phytate g-1 defatted meal) and tannins (0.03-1.12%), the levels were comparable with other grains and may prove not to be inhibitory to both protein and mineral utilization.
Keywords: Exotic grain amaranth; West Africa