Effect of heading on some micronutrients, anti-nutrients and toxic substances in Amaranthus cruentus grown in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria

Amanabo Musa, Johnson Oladiran
2011 American Journal of Food and Nutrition  
Pot experiments were performed to determine the effect of heading (fruiting) on antinutrients (soluble and total oxalates), toxic substances (cyanide and nitrate) and some micronutrients viz; vitamin C, β-carotene (provitamin A) and mineral elements (Fe, Mg, Cu, Zn, Ca, Na and K) in Amaranthus cruentus grown in nitrogen and non-nitogen treated soil. The vegetable leaves were harvested at both market maturity (vegetative phase) and heading (reproductive phase) and were subjected to chemical
more » ... ed to chemical analysis. Results obtained showed that the vitamin C, cyanide, soluble and total oxalates concentrations in the vegetable were significantly elevated (p < 0.05) during heading irrespective of soil nitrogen levels. Nitrate and β-carotene concentrations decreased significantly (p < 0.05) during heading except that the decrease in β-carotene was not significant in vegetable treated with nitrogen fertilizer. Similarly the result also showed that the Mg, Zn, Ca and K concentrations were not significantly affected with heading. However, the Fe concentration was increased, while the Cu and Na concentrations were reduced significantly (p < 0.05) with heading.The result concludes that harvesting of Amaranthus cruentus at vegetative phase generally reduce the levels of most of the plant toxins and still conserve most of the micronutrients in an amount to meet our dietary requirements.
doi:10.5251/ajfn.2011. fatcat:ck6y3lnbc5bldfdlgbrj4psmqu