Chemical and Mineral Composition of Amaranth (Amaranthus L.) Species Collected From Central Malawi
- Nathan Kachiguma
- Weston Mwase
- Moses Maliro
- Alex Damaliphetsa
Chemical analysis and mineral composition of twenty accessions of grain and leaf Amaranth (Amaranthus L.) collected from different agro-ecological zones of Central Malawi were conducted according to the standards of Association of Official Analytical Chemistry (AOAC). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means were separated using least significance difference (P ≤ 0.05) in Gen Stat version 15. The analyses for grain Amaranth showed that moisture content ranges from 10.69 to 12.22% while ash content varied from 4.4 to 8.7%. Elemental analyses in mg/100 grams on dry weight basis indicated that the grain had calcium (78.3 to 1004.6), iron (3.61 to 22.51), magnesium (44.31 to 97.38), potassium (267.8 to 473.6) and zinc (0.53 to 1.20). The mean differences for leaf chemical analyses were highly significant (p < 0.001) with crude protein ranging from 13.37 to 23.27%; ash (14.08 to 19.95%) and Vitamin C (30.3 to 117.79 mg/100 g) while the mean mineral leaf analyses in mg/100 grams ranged from 14.84 to 31.17 for iron, 1.03 to 3.46 for zinc, 1512 to 2381 for calcium, 1320 to 1677 for potassium and 383.4 to 513.9 for magnesium. Generally the accessions from mid altitude area of Lilongwe showed highest values for both grain and leaf mineral analyses while accessions from the high altitude showed lower values. The results of this study provide evidence that local Amaranthus genotypes have appreciable amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins important to meet dietary requirements of rural and urban communities in Malawi.
- Bella DongEditorial Assistant