Ikechukwu Edwin EZEAGU


Raw, cooked and HCl-extracted baobab, Adansonia digitata seed meals were used for biological and nutritional evaluation studies. The seed is low in protein (16.60g/100g DM) but could be a good source of oil (17.50g/100g) and minerals, particularly sodium, potassium and phosphorus, which contained 228.0, 1429.0 and 924.5 mg/100gDM respectively. Low levels of antinutritional factors such as tannin, phytate, cyanide, oxalate, nitrate/nitrite and absence of trypsin inhibitors were observed. Seed protein is high in sulfur-amino acid, with a chemical score (CS) of 126.80, but marginally limiting in lysine and threonine, with CS of 64.31 and 85.59 respectively based on the preschool age (2-5yrs) reference protein requirement. The seed oil contain appreciable level of unsaturated fatty acids with oleic and linoleic acids making up 66.32% of total fatty acids. The raw diet was similar to the casein diet in weight gain, feed intake, net protein retention (NPR) and true digestibility (TD) but significantly inferior in protein efficiency ratio (PER). Cooking did not have any significant effect on feed intake but significantly lowered the weight gain relative to the raw and casein diets. HCl-extracted meal exerted significantly lower weight gain compared to the raw, cooked and casein diets. It is concluded that the raw seed showed promise as a source of food supplement and is likely to be satisfactory in supporting growth and maintenance in livestock feeding.

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