EVALUATION OF PROXIMATE CONSITUENTS IN LEAFS AND ROOT OF SIMAROUBA GLAUCA D.C. (PARADISE TREE). A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON BIOCHEMISTRY
The proximate content; moisture, crude protein, crude ash, crude fat, crude fibre and carbohydrate, of Simarouba glauca were determined, along with other properties to include the glucose and amino acid contents, and the qualitative macromolecular content of the plant. The proximate properties of the plant were determined based on the A.O.A.C (1990) methods for moisture, crude protein and crude ash; A.O.A.C (1984) for crude fibre and carbohydrates; and the acid base extraction technique described by Phillips et.al. (2001). The concentration of different amino acids were determined using the ninhydrin, while the glucose content was determined Nelson-Simogy’s method. The moisture contents of the
leaves and the roots were quite high, over 60% in both. The root of the plant was also found to be rich in fibre and low in fat, meanwhile the leaves recorded a higher fat concentration than fibre. With the moisture and fibre content of the roots taking a large percentage, it was found to be pretty low in crude ash, carbohydrates, crude protein and crude fat. The leafs however was much higher in ash, carbohydrates and protein, and a little higher in fat. Among the essestial amino acids, methionine was the highest while phenyl alanine was negative. The highest amino acid was cysteine, which is a conditionally essential amino acid. From these results, it is obvious that Simarouba glauca roots and leaf extract might not enough nutritional supplements while being used medicinally. They can serve as a good source of animal feed, however, proteins and fat would need to be supplemented.
Plants undergo photosynthesis and they constitute a primary resource of carbon, vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids, and utilizable energy for food production (Young and Pelett, 1994). Plants have played a significant role in maintaining the health and improving the quality of human life for thousands of years. (Mishra, 2010). They provide a major source of food and nourishment for man and animal.
Nutrition is a science of food and its relationship to health. Nutrition refers to nourishment that sustains life. The study of nutrient requirements and the diet providing these requirements is also known as ‘nutrition’ (Chutani, 2008). Pike and Brown, 1984 defined it as “the science that interprets the relationship of food to the functioning of living organism. It includes the uptake of food, liberation of energy, elimination of wastes and all the processes of synthesis essential for maintenance, growth and reproduction (Chutani, 2008). Apart from maintaining normal body functioning, nutrition is important in fighting infections and in the recuperation of an ill person. Nutrition interacts with infections in a synergistic manner, such that recurrent infections lead to a loss of body nitrogen and worsen nutritional status; the resulting malnutrition, in its turn, produces a greater susceptibility to infection (Kurpad, 2005). Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was the first to suggest that the composition of foods in the normal diet might contribute to health.