African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Levels of anti-oxidants in different parts of moringa (Moringa oleifera) seedling

  S. Z. Tesfay*, I. Bertling, A. O. Odindo, T. Seyoum Workneh and N. Mathaba  
  Horticultural Science, School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Agric Ave., 3209 Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 September 2011
  •  Published: 12 October 2011

Abstract

 

Moringa (Moringa oleifera) tree is known as a medicinal plant, with every part of the plant edible and rich in anti-oxidants. However, there is little information on these anti-oxidants distribution in the plant; these compounds are produced at different concentrations in different parts of the plant. This research, investigated the levels of anti-oxidants in different parts of the plant. Seedlings were grown in replication, consisting of four plots, and replicated into three. Pooled plant parts were collected for analysis. There were significant differences in sugar concentration and anti-oxidant distribution in different parts of moringa seedling. The sucrose concentration was the dominant carbohydrate produced in different parts of the seedling, except glucose in plant roots. Raffinose was detected only in leaf, stem and root of the seedling. Whereas the highest anti-oxidant concentration was also recorded in: Total anti-oxidant (TAO) (1.8 mg g-1), leaf-ascorbic acid (AsA) (2.0 mg g-1), and total phenols (TP) (64.1 μg g-1); stem-TAO (1.2 mg g-1); root-carotenoids (29.7 mg g-1), TP (57.3 μg g-1); seed- α-tocopherol (28.57 μg g-1). Although the seedlings had substantial amount of total crude protein, seed (110.4 mg g-1) and leaf (76.1 mg g-1) had the highest concentrations. Different parts of moringa seedlings had different levels of sugars and anti-oxidants; this contributes to their nutritional qualities and eventually qualifies it as a suitable underutilized crop with every part being edible. The specific aims of this study were to generate analytical data on anti-oxidants concentrations in different parts of the moringa plants and identification of different parts of the plant as potential ingredients in functional food products.

 

Key words: Anti-oxidants, carbohydrates, moringa, nutrients, protein.