NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF SOME PROCESSED AND UNPROCESSED LESSER KNOWN VEGETABLES CONSUMED IN NIGERIA
This study was designed to determine nutrient composition of some processed and unprocessed lesser known vegetables (LKCVs) consumed in Kaduna State. Multistage sampling and simple random sampling techniques were adopted to arrive at community of choice for data collection. Six communities were randomly selected from the three (3) senatorial zones of Kaduna state. In each selected community, in-depth interview and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) were conducted with community women to identify types, processing methods and consumption pattern of LKCVs. A total of eight each of the processed and unprocessed LKCVs identified were aseptically collected for laboratory analysis. LKCVs commonly found in Kaduna state were therefore, subjected to analysis to determine their proximate and micronutrient (some minerals: Ca, K, Mg, Fe, Na, Zn and vitamins: vitamin C, vitamim A and folate) content. A total of 21 LKCVs were identified out of which 8 were selected based on availability for the study. All the vegetables were seasonal except Vigna unguiculata (Bean leaves), more so boiling and blanching were the common traditional processing methods. Senna obtusifolia (Coffee senna) (73.81%), Senna occidentalis (Coffee senna) (74.60%) and Clocusia esculentum (Cocoyam leaves) (61.11%) were consumed sufficiently by the respondents (5-6 times per week). Medicinal value (34.94%) was the dominant reason for consumption of the LKCVs. The proximate nutrient values for unprocessed LKCVs ranged from 50.33% to 13 9% (carbohydrate), 12.49% to 4.09%
(crude protein), 5.00% to 0.37% (fat), 7.06% to 6.63% (ash), 61.11% to 28.10% (moisture) and 9.88% to 1.72% (fibres). While in processed LKCVs, proximate compositions ranged from 41.38% to 11.80% (carbohydrate), 6.44% to 2.67% (crude protein) 3.16% to 0.17% (fat), 5.72 %
to 2.72% (ash), 72.30% to 50.05% (moisture), and 6.43% to 0.93% (fibres). Minerals nutrient value of unprocessed LKCVs showed that potassium has the highest value range of 3,277.6omg to 220.10mg/100g; magnesium, 128mg to 99.96mg/100g; calcium, 200.22mg to 5.33mg/100g; sodium, 7.14mg to 0.07mg/100g; iron, 19.53mg to 0.39mg/100g; zinc, 9.61mg to 0.23mg/100g; vitamin A, 11.78mg to 0.19mg/100g; vitamin C, 4,22mg to 0.07mg/100g; vitamin B9, 12.49mg to 5.24mg/100g. The minerals and vitamins nutrient of processed LKCVs analyzed also gave ranges for potassium, 996.50mg to72.30mg/100g; magnesium, 85.7mg to 125.08mg/100g; calcium, 2.7mg to 103.48mg/100g; sodium, 0.36mg to 9. 39mg/100g; iron, 0.19mg to 11.78mg/100g; zinc, 0.29mg to 5.38mg/100g; vitamin A, 6.99mg to 14.59mg/100g; vitamin C, 0.35mg to 3.35mg/100g; Vitamin B9, 2.77mg to 8.11 mg/100g. There was significant (p<0.05)
difference between the processed and unprocessed nutrient content of LK C Vs in favour of unprocessed that had the higher nutrient in all the vegetables except for moisture content. All the vegetable are of low fat content and the nutrient level vary widely. Vegetables when combined would complement each other and provides more nutrient- rich local diet, thus contributes to food security.