Indigenous Knowledge on Utilization Aspects of Selected Edible Wild Fruits from Zambia

  •  C. Mutelo    
  •  V. Nyau    
  •  B. Choobe    
  •  P. Marinda    
  •  T. Hachibamba    


In recent years, the potential role of edible wild fruits has been recognized in the reduction of poverty and improving human health and nutrition. Edible wild fruits are an important source of household food security for the poor in both rural and urban communities. Edible wild fruits tend to be overlooked by policy-makers despite their significant contribution to food security, nutrition and health. The aim of this study was to establish indigenous knowledge on utilization aspects of selected edible wild fruits Masuku (Uapaca kirkiana), Impundu (Parinari curatellifolia), Intungulu (Afromomum africanum) and Imfungo (Anisophyllea Boehimii). A survey was used to establish indigenous knowledge based on utilization, nutritional and food safety aspects of the selected fruits. Detailed questionnaires and focused group discussions were used to collect data on these aspects. Data from the survey were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 22). The findings from this study revealed that Masuku, Impundu, Intungulu and Imfungo are mainly consumed unprocessed. The reasons for consuming these fruits include satisfying hunger, snacking, sweetness, and sour taste. Processing of products such as jams, juices and fermented beverages was reported in isolated cases. The wild fruits under investigation were reported to have medicinal uses that included blocking diarrhoea, boosting the immune system, increasing blood levels and boosting appetite of the sick. Food safety concerns were reported for Intungulu and Masuku when consumed in excess. The Intungulu fruit was reported to cause stomach pain due to its high acidic nature while its seeds cause intestinal obstruction when consumed in excess. Excessive consumption of Masuku fruit was reported to cause stomach bloating and sores on the upper pallet of the mouth. Indigenous knowledge revealed valuable data on utilization, nutritional, medicinal and food safety aspects of the fruits.

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