American Journal of Food and Nutrition
ISSN (Print): 2374-1155 ISSN (Online): 2374-1163 Website: Editor-in-chief: Mihalis Panagiotidis
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American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2021, 9(3), 106-111
DOI: 10.12691/ajfn-9-3-2
Open AccessArticle

Nutritional Evaluation and Phytochemical Screening of Commelina diffusa: An Underutilized Wild Edible Plant of Sri Lanka

Peduruhewa P.S.1, 2, Jayathunge K. G. L. R.1, and Liyanage R.1

1Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Homagama, 10200, Sri Lanka

2Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, 10250, Sri Lanka

Pub. Date: August 31, 2021

Cite this paper:
Peduruhewa P.S., Jayathunge K. G. L. R. and Liyanage R.. Nutritional Evaluation and Phytochemical Screening of Commelina diffusa: An Underutilized Wild Edible Plant of Sri Lanka. American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2021; 9(3):106-111. doi: 10.12691/ajfn-9-3-2


Sri Lanka is blessed with hundreds of wild edible species which are capable of improving healthy dietary patterns of human being. Though, Commelina diffusa (Girapala) is an important wild edible species, its nutritional properties are still unexplored. This study was carried out to determine the proximate composition, microelements and to assess phytochemicals in C. diffusa. Phytochemicals were tested in both qualitative and quantitative manner and in qualitative assessment it has been used different organic solvents including hexane, ethanol, chloroform and water. The proximate nutritional composition including, ash, moisture, crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber were determined using AOAC standards. Microelements were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric method. Ca was the most abundant mineral element followed by Fe > Cu > Zn which have shown higher values than most of the prominent leafy vegetables in Sri Lanka. Moisture and ash contents were 89.78% and 7.03% of fresh weight, respectively. The corresponding values for crude fat, crude fiber and crude protein were 0.01%, 3.52% and 3.10% respectively in dry weight basis. The result of quantitative phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of bioactive compounds namely, flavonoids (3.37%), alkaloids (5.55%), saponins (2.82%), phenols (7.27%), steroids (0.28%) and tannins (2.94%). In concluding, the results indicate that the tender shoots of C. diffusa contain an appreciable amount of bioactive compounds and microelements.

Commelina diffusa micronutrients phytochemicals proximate composition

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