NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF SOME CULTIVATED AND WILD SPECIES OF AMARANTHUS L.Abstract
Amaranthus vegetable and seeds are highly nutritious. Four species of Amaranthus were planted in pots in a glass house and leaves were harvested. Fresh leaves were analyzed for protein and carbohydrate content and oven dried leaves for Fe, Ca, K and Na contents. Protein content was varied from 6.10-9.00g/100g of fresh leaves. The amount of carbohydrate in fresh leaves of all four species varied from 9.75g-21.29g. Among the species, A. spinosus showed higher amount (21.29g) which is almost two folds higher than A. tricolor (9.75g). Results showed that A. viridis had higher accumulation (54mg). Overall K amount in the dry leaves of the four species varied between 2230-3900mg per 100 g of dry leaves and it was almost 2 fold differences between values of lowest and highest accumulation. The variation in amount of Ca was 38 fold higher, A. spinosus from the minimum amount (A. blitum). Fe content in dry leaves was maximum in A. viridis (15mg per 100g of dry wt) followed by A. spinosus (13.28mg), A. tricolor (10mg) and A. blitum (9mg). Wild species had more amount of Fe than cultivated species. The results of this study indicate a nutritive potential for the Amaranthus leaves, therefore, domestication of this plant is suggested along with assessment of its chemical and nutritional properties.
Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Center of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, Uttar Pradesh, India
09 August, 2011
18 October, 2011
10 November, 2011
01 December, 2011