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A COMPOSITIONAL STUDY OF MORINGA STENOPETALA LEAVES | ABUYE | East African Medical Journal
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A COMPOSITIONAL STUDY OF MORINGA STENOPETALA LEAVES

C. ABUYE, K. URGA, H. KNAPP, D. SELMAR, A.M. OMWEGA, J.K. IMUNGI, P. WINTERHALTER

Abstract


ABSTRACT
Objective: To investigate nutrient composition in moringa leaves and compare with those
of kale (Brassica carinata) and Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris).
Design: Laboratory based study, nutrient composition of fresh and cooked leaves of
M. stenopetala were analyzed.
Study Setting: Goma-Gofa, south-western Ethiopia.
Results: Raw M. stenopetala leaves contain 9% dry matter as crude protein, about 3-
fold lower than in kale and swisschard. M. stenopetala leaves contain higher percentage
of carbohydrate, crude fiber and calcium compared to both raw and cooked kale and
swiss chard. Vitamins are present at nutritionally significant levels averaging 28mg/100g
of vitamin C and 160 μg/100g of ß-carotene. Minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc,
phosphorus and calcium also exist in significant concentrations with the average values
of 3.08 mg/100g iron and 792.8 mg/100g calcium.
Conclusion: Although the nutrient composition of M. stenopetala leaves in most cases
is lower compared to kale and swiss chard they can he a good source of nutrients in
dry season potentially when other vegetables are scarce. However, the presence of small
amount of cyanogenic glucosides in M. stenopetala leaves may have a health risk in
areas of high incidence of endemic goitre as an exacerbating factor if consumed more
for a long period of time.

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