Nutritional Evaluation of Five African Indigenous Vegetables

R. Tchientche Kamga 1 , C. Kouamé 2 , A. R. Atangana 3 , T. Chagomoka 1 , and R. Ndango 4
  • 1 AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, Liaison Office, c/o IITA-Cameroon, P.O. Box 2008 Messa Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • 2 World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), 01 BP 2024 San Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire
  • 3 Department of Renewable Resources, 3-38 C Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada; current address: Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), local 2208 Pavillon C.-E. Marchand, Université Laval, 1030 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec QC G1V 0A6 Canada
  • 4 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 2008 Messa Yaoundé, Cameroon


The promotion and consumption of indigenous vegetables could help mitigate food insecurity and alleviate malnutrition in developing countries. In this respect, 17 accessions (candidate breeding lines that have not yet officially been released) of five African indigenous vegetables: amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus), nightshade (Solanum scabrum), African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum), jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius) and okra (Abelmoschus callei), previously selected for their superior agronomic and horticultural traits, were evaluated in Cameroon for minerals (Ca, Mg, K, P, Zn and Fe), proteins, and carotenoids content. Nutrient content differed significantly (P<0.001) between cultivars. Amaranth (especially line AM-NKgn) had the highest Ca, Mg, and Zn content in comparison to other genotypes studied. Nightshade had the highest K and Fe content. The highest K and Fe levels were found in nightshades BG24 and SS52, respectively. Nightshade had the highest level of protein, especially line BFS1. The highest amount of carotenoids was identified in the eggplant variety Oforiwa. The study revealed that these vegetables are important sources of some vital nutrients. Increased production and consumption of these nutrient-rich vegetables will help reduce the nutrition-related disorders in Africa.

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