Umedum Ngozi Lillian, Nwosu Christian Chisom, Udeozo Ifeoma Prisca, Igwemmar Noela Chinyere
Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2014, 2(2), 17-20DOI:
Abstract: Malnutrition is one of the major problems in Nigeria and other developing countries. The country is blessed with rich soil and favorable climate, but lack of irrigation facilities has resulted to seasonality; and ignorance of nutritional value of lesser-known vegetables have contributed to scarcity of vegetables for the increasing population. This study investigated the amino acid and heavy metal composition of Afzelia africana leaves. Sixteen amino acids were found in varying proportions in the protein of the vegetable. All essential amino acids, except methionine and tryptophan were present in good quantities. Phenylalanine had the highest concentration of 2.27g/100g protein while isoleucine had the lowest concentration of 1.71g/ 100g protein. The heavy metal analysis was done by atomic absorption spectrometry. Results obtained showed the presence of the essential metals: iron (8.49ppm) and nickel (0.03ppm); and the non-essential metals: lead (0.75ppm) and mercury (0.64ppm). Results revealed that the protein contained in the leaves of Afzelia africana is of high quality; however the presence of the toxic metals is an issue of great concern.