Food and nutrition insecurity is a common occurrence in arid and semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa, with communities resorting to wild foods and forest products such as baobab in times of scarcity, to derive energy and nutrition. The nutrient dense baobab pulp is accepted in the US and European Union markets as a food ingredient, with potential to curb micronutrient deficiencies, while generating income to stakeholders, and reaching wider markets if value added. Demand for nutrient and safety information on baobab is rising following increased uptake and growing commercialization. Information on nutrient quality of baobab in East Africa is currently limited. The objective of this study was to profile the nutrient composition of baobab pulp in specific locations in Sudan and Kenya for potential utilization as a superfood. Information based stratified sampling for high baobab density was done for fruit collection. Fruit pulp was analysed for Vitamin C, antioxidant capacity, total phenols and flavonoids using HPLC, DPPH, Folin Ciocalteau and flavonoid-aluminium chloride complexation methods, respectively. Vitamin C content ranged between 17.34 - 401.17 mg/100g. The means were 271.2, 243.98, 181.6 and 113.1 mg/100 for North and west Kordofan regions of Sudan, and Kitui and Kilifi counties in Kenya, respectively. The IC50 value of methanolic extract ranged between 0.5- 2.5 mg/ml. Higher variations were observed between than within locations for all parameters tested. The total phenols and flavonoids followed similar trends. These findings point towards existence of localized baobab morphotypes, a high environmental influence on the nutrient content of baobab pulp and ability to confer health benefits.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series
Agris Subject Categories: