A Preliminary Study of Nutritional Quality of Five Drought Tolerant Millets

  •  Olamide S. Antonio Ajibona    
  •  Adedolapo Ajiboma Idowu    
  •  A. A. Hamama    
  •  Harbans L. Bhardwaj    


Seeds from greenhouse-grown plants of five food millet crops—[barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea Link.), finger millet (Eleusine coracana Gaertn.), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum L.), little millet (Panicum sumatrense Roth ex Roem. & Schult.), and proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.)] contained 10.4, 5.5, 7.2, 1.3, and 17.1 percent protein; 69, 29, 239, 105, and 32 Fe (mg/100 g); and 33, 22, 23, 31, and 37 (mg/100 g) Zn, respectively. Concentrations (g/100 g) of oil in seeds varied from 1.32 for finger millet to 3.58 for little millet. The oil concentrations for barnyard, kodo, and proso millets were 1.59, 1.64, and 3.36 g/100 g, respectively. Predominant fatty acid in the oil in the seed of these millets was C18:2 followed by C18:1, and C16:0. Concentration of omega-3 fatty acid (a heart-healthy oil) was 1.06, 0.62, 1.01, 0.91, and 3.11 g/100 g in barnyard, kodo, little, proso, and finger millet, respectively. Oils from seeds of these millet crops were essentially free from concentration of anti-nutritive fatty acid C22:1 (Erucic acid). Concentrations (g/100 g) of total sugars varied from 0.96 for barnyard millet to 2.09 for finger millet. The total sugar concentrations for kodo, little, and proso millets were 1.81, 1.95, and 1.99 g/100 g, respectively. Fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, raffinose, and stachyose concentrations varied from 0.05 to 0.47, 0.44 to 0.85, 0.44 to 0.98, 0.02 to 0.33, 0.005 to 0.083, and 0.002 to 0.053, respectively for barnyard, kodo, little, proso, and finger millet, respectively. Results indicated that these millet crops have potential as sources of healthy food and it might be worthwhile to further study their production potential.

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