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Aims: There is a high risk associated with using artificial materials like polyethylene or foil for wrapping foods before cooking. The present study investigated the phytochemical and nutrient composition of Thaumatococus daniellii leaf, a local food wrapper.
Place and Duration of Study: Biochemistry Unit, Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, between April and May 2018.
Methodology: The phytochemical compounds were analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) while proximate and vitamin composition was determined using standard analytical methods.
Results: The GC-MS phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of eight (8) bioactive compounds 1,2,3,4-Butanetetrol, d-Glycero-d-idoheptose, Cyclopentane,1-ethyl-1-methyl-, 6-Octyl-1-ol,3,7-dimethyl-, 2-Octenal, E- Octane,1-chloro-,2-Acetoxy-1,1,10-trimethyl-6,9-epidioxydecalin and Bicyclo[3.1.1]heptan-3-ol,2,6,6-trimethyl-,(1α,2β,3α,5α)- while vitamin assay results showed that Thaumatococcus daniellii leaf contained 3.1mg/100g of vitamin A, 1.07 mg/100 g vitamin B1, 1.32 mg/100 g vitamin B3, 1.11 mg/100 g of vitamin B5, 16.34 mg/100 g of vitamin B6, 11.86 mg/100 g of vitamin B12 and 25.19 mg/100 g of vitamin C. Result of proximate analysis indicates that Thaumatococcus daniellii leaf contains 10.15% ash, 9.67% moisture, 20.41% protein, 11.42% lipids, 13.78% fibre and 34.57% carbohydrate.
Conclusion: In summary, our findings indicate that Thaumatococcus daniellii leaves contain bioactive compounds, an appreciable number of vitamins and high nutritional constituents. Hence Thaumatococcus daniellii leaves can be incorporated into animal feed, taking into cognizance the high protein, fat and vitamin contents. These suggest that it may play critical medicinal and nutritional roles and probably be a safer alternative to polyethylene paper and aluminum foil wraps; hence justifying its local usage as food wrapper. The leaves may also serve as a lead for the production of a healthier material for wrapping local foods.
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