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Chemical composition of the Pulp and Seed Kernels of Baobab fruits from three different African Countries

Sikombe, Thelma LU (2016) KLTM01 20161
Food Technology and Nutrition (M.Sc.)
Abstract
The baobab is among the commonly consumed wild fruits found in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. It has a wide application in food systems and folk medicine and has an advantage of surviving even in harsh environmental conditions.
While the fruit pulp is packed with a lot of essential nutrients and has gained much interest in recent past on the international market as a healthy ‘superfood’. The seed kernels are rich in proteins and essential fats, and thus, a suitable alternative energy source for rural communities where diets are usually deficient in these nutrients.
This study was designed to determine the nutritional composition of the baobab fruit pulp and the seed kernels as there is only scanty data available in the... (More)
The baobab is among the commonly consumed wild fruits found in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. It has a wide application in food systems and folk medicine and has an advantage of surviving even in harsh environmental conditions.
While the fruit pulp is packed with a lot of essential nutrients and has gained much interest in recent past on the international market as a healthy ‘superfood’. The seed kernels are rich in proteins and essential fats, and thus, a suitable alternative energy source for rural communities where diets are usually deficient in these nutrients.
This study was designed to determine the nutritional composition of the baobab fruit pulp and the seed kernels as there is only scanty data available in the species of the fruit found in Zambia. It is assumed that the nutritional characteristics of the fruits vary depending on their origin, hence, three species of baobab fruits from Zambia, Malawi and Eritrea, were investigated.
The fruit pulp was separated from the seeds using a blender. The seed kernels were obtained from the seeds manually by rubbing the seeds between fingers following 5 minutes of boiling and 15 hours soaking. The results indicated varying amounts of ascorbic acid in the pulp, ranging from 20 to 260 mg/100g (p<0.05). The colour saturation of the pulp was distinctively different (p<0.05) among the samples and was inversely correlated to the ascorbic acid content. High phenolic content (3796 – 4447 GAE mg/100g) was recorded in the fruit pulp with the Malawian fruit being significantly below the other two. Dietary fibres ranged from 52.2 – 71.5 g/100g, relatively low amounts of the crude protein (2.2 – 2.6 mg/100g) and crude fat (0.1 – 0.4 mg/100g) were found in the pulp. Apart from the dietary fibre content no major differences were observed in the proximate and mineral content of the pulp.
The seed kernels were mostly high in crude protein and fat content, with a high energy content of 512 – 530 kcal/100g. A greater contribution of the energy content was provided by the fat, 50.1 – 54.9%E and protein, 31.2 – 33.2%E. The kernels phenolic content was low in relation to the pulp (1380 – 1767 GAE mg/100g) but varied significantly among the samples (p<0.05). The nutritional composition of the seed kernels indicate that they can be an alternative source of protein and essential fats where the diet is deficient in these nutrients.
The results also indicated that moderate consumption of the baobab fruit pulp and kernels can meet much of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for individuals. For instance, 40 g of fruit pulp can provide 260 and 120% of the recommended intakes of ascorbic acid for a child aged between 4-8 years and a pregnant woman between 19 -50 years old respectively. The same amount of pulp can provide over 100 and about 75% RDA of dietary fibre to an adult female and male respectively. While 40g of seed kernels will provide more than 100% of the RDA of protein to children between 1-3 years old. This data represents useful information to encourage adequate consumption of baobab fruit and promote utilization in food production. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Africa is blessed with a great variety of wild edible foods, among them is the baobab tree. It is commonly found in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan African including Zambia, Malawi and Eritrea. The oldest baobab tree is said to be over 1000 years. One of the distinctive features
of the baobab tree is its massively large sized trunk, that can hold up to several litres of water and thus, able to survive the harsh conditions including prolonged drought; and the naturally dry fruit pulp. It is a multipurpose tree that has found its application as a food and a cure for
certain ailments hence the term ‘tree of life’ is commonly used to by many local people. The fruit pulp and seed kernels are some of food components of importance from the... (More)
Africa is blessed with a great variety of wild edible foods, among them is the baobab tree. It is commonly found in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan African including Zambia, Malawi and Eritrea. The oldest baobab tree is said to be over 1000 years. One of the distinctive features
of the baobab tree is its massively large sized trunk, that can hold up to several litres of water and thus, able to survive the harsh conditions including prolonged drought; and the naturally dry fruit pulp. It is a multipurpose tree that has found its application as a food and a cure for
certain ailments hence the term ‘tree of life’ is commonly used to by many local people. The fruit pulp and seed kernels are some of food components of importance from the baobab tree.
They contain sufficient nutrients that are essential for human health and maintenance.
Experts suggest that our daily intake of fibers should contain at least 20–30% of soluble fibers and baobab pulp contains more than 50% dietary fiber, of which over 70% are soluble fibers which contain a lot of health benefits. The health benefits of dietary fibers include good bowel
movement, reduction of blood cholesterol and glucose levels, thus its fibre could be used in foods for people with type II diabetes. Besides, fibre is an excellent texture enhancer that gives good rheological properties to jams, yoghurts, ice cream and candies.
The pulp is also a good source of vitamin C, with amounts ranging from 10 to 260 mg/100g and more than four times that of oranges. Other health promoting constituents of the baobab fruit include polyphenols. The presence of vitamin C and polyphenols is credited for the good antioxidant properties of the baobab pulp. Antioxidants offer a good defence mechanism
against certain chronic diseases such as, inflammation, certain types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, absorption of non-heme iron (plant based iron) is improved with the presence of vitamin C. Therefore, incorporating baobab pulp into cereal based food preparations could positively influence the iron status of people.
On the other hand the seed kernels are a rich source of proteins (>40%) and fats (@ 30%). If adequately utilised, they can make a significant contribution to improve people’s nutrition status especially in times of drought.
Wild fruit collection and trading is an important cultural and social economic practice in the daily lives of many rural communities in Africa when fruits are in season. With recent EU authorisation of the pulp as a novel food, baobab has received so much interest on the international market and thus more potential for increased incomes for the local people.
The data generated from this study could be useful in optimizing the utilization of resources by local communities as well as foster the production of foods with the baobab fruit as a base or an ingredient in functional foods. (Less)
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author
Sikombe, Thelma LU
supervisor
organization
course
KLTM01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
dietary fibre, phenolic, utilization, fat, kernels, pulp, food engineering, livsmedelsteknik
language
English
id
8894505
date added to LUP
2016-11-14 16:07:08
date last changed
2016-11-17 06:49:08
@misc{8894505,
  abstract     = {The baobab is among the commonly consumed wild fruits found in the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. It has a wide application in food systems and folk medicine and has an advantage of surviving even in harsh environmental conditions.
While the fruit pulp is packed with a lot of essential nutrients and has gained much interest in recent past on the international market as a healthy ‘superfood’. The seed kernels are rich in proteins and essential fats, and thus, a suitable alternative energy source for rural communities where diets are usually deficient in these nutrients.
This study was designed to determine the nutritional composition of the baobab fruit pulp and the seed kernels as there is only scanty data available in the species of the fruit found in Zambia. It is assumed that the nutritional characteristics of the fruits vary depending on their origin, hence, three species of baobab fruits from Zambia, Malawi and Eritrea, were investigated. 
The fruit pulp was separated from the seeds using a blender. The seed kernels were obtained from the seeds manually by rubbing the seeds between fingers following 5 minutes of boiling and 15 hours soaking. The results indicated varying amounts of ascorbic acid in the pulp, ranging from 20 to 260 mg/100g (p<0.05). The colour saturation of the pulp was distinctively different (p<0.05) among the samples and was inversely correlated to the ascorbic acid content. High phenolic content (3796 – 4447 GAE mg/100g) was recorded in the fruit pulp with the Malawian fruit being significantly below the other two. Dietary fibres ranged from 52.2 – 71.5 g/100g, relatively low amounts of the crude protein (2.2 – 2.6 mg/100g) and crude fat (0.1 – 0.4 mg/100g) were found in the pulp. Apart from the dietary fibre content no major differences were observed in the proximate and mineral content of the pulp. 
The seed kernels were mostly high in crude protein and fat content, with a high energy content of 512 – 530 kcal/100g. A greater contribution of the energy content was provided by the fat, 50.1 – 54.9%E and protein, 31.2 – 33.2%E. The kernels phenolic content was low in relation to the pulp (1380 – 1767 GAE mg/100g) but varied significantly among the samples (p<0.05). The nutritional composition of the seed kernels indicate that they can be an alternative source of protein and essential fats where the diet is deficient in these nutrients.
The results also indicated that moderate consumption of the baobab fruit pulp and kernels can meet much of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for individuals. For instance, 40 g of fruit pulp can provide 260 and 120% of the recommended intakes of ascorbic acid for a child aged between 4-8 years and a pregnant woman between 19 -50 years old respectively. The same amount of pulp can provide over 100 and about 75% RDA of dietary fibre to an adult female and male respectively. While 40g of seed kernels will provide more than 100% of the RDA of protein to children between 1-3 years old. This data represents useful information to encourage adequate consumption of baobab fruit and promote utilization in food production.},
  author       = {Sikombe, Thelma},
  keyword      = {dietary fibre,phenolic,utilization,fat,kernels,pulp,food engineering,livsmedelsteknik},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Chemical composition of the Pulp and Seed Kernels of Baobab fruits from three different African Countries},
  year         = {2016},
}