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Promoting Non-Animal Protein Sources in Sub-Saharan Africa

An Interdisciplinary Study

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Edited By Sunday Paul Bako and Frank Olwari

The research results point to the need of sustaining plant protein sources to large populations in sub-Saharan Africa that have no access to meat. Proteins are essential components of the human body and therefore indispensable for human life. Malnutrition and diseases are often caused because of the lack of sufficient proteins. Since animal sources of protein are out of reach to more than 85% of the people of sub-Saharan Africa, the challenge is to make protein otherwise accessible, available and affordable to the ordinary man. Owing to the influence of climate change and population explosion, the situation at discussion will exacerbate within the coming decade. Therefore non-animal protein must be brought into focus in order to prevent major diseases of malnutrition.

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Evaluation of mineral and amino acid composition of leaves of ocimum gratissimum (L.) (U. G. Egesie, A. B. Adelaiye and O. J. Egesie) 96

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EVALUATION OF MINERAL AND AMINO ACID COMPOSITION OF LEAVES OF OCIMUM GRATISSIMUM (L.) U. G. Egesie, A. B. Adelaiye and O. J. Egesie University of Jos, Nigeria Abstract The study was conducted to determine the mineral and amino acid composition of the leave of Ocimum gratissimum. The mineral composition showed major minerals such as Na, K, Ca and Mg. The amino acid compositions include essential and non-essential amino acids. The amino acids compared favorably with FAO reference protein. The leave were also found to be rich in essential amino acids especially lysine and leucine. The level of essential of amino acids are adequate when compared with the reference values, therefore this result provide scientific basis for the consumption of O. gratissimum leave in Nigeria. Keywords: Minerals, amino acids, Ocimum gratissimum, composition. Introduction Evidences from literatures show that the plant Ocimum gratissimum has many medicinal uses and that it is also edible. It is used as a spice and for the treatment of fever, diabetes and bacterial infections. Thymol isolated from the plant has been shown to be antiseptic, antitussive, and antispasmodic (l). Some of the observed biological activity of the plant could be due to the presence of xanthones, which Table 1: Mineral contents of leaves of O. gratissimum Mineral (mg/100g dry weight) Sodium 0.07 ± 0.00b Potassium 1.61 ± 0.053a Calcium 1.50 ± 0.03 a Magnesium 0.07 ± 0.00 b Zinc 0.01 ± 0.00 b Manganese 0.002 ± 0.00 b Iron 0.05 ± 0.00 b Phosphorus 0.48 ± 0.01 Chloride 0.05 ± 0.006 b Values are Mean ± SEM...

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