Effect of Plant Maturity on the Proximate Composition of Sesamum Radiatum Schum Leaves
This study investigated the effect of maturity on the nutrients of Sesamum radiatum leaves. Sesamum radiatum seeds were sown on an unfertilized land and the leaves were harvested on weekly basis from the fourth to the tenth week after planting (WAP) when senenescence has started setting in. The moisture, protein, fat, crude fibre, ash, and nitrogen free extract of the plant were determined using A.O.A.C standard methods. The results obtained showed high moisture content which decreased from the fourth week after planting (4WAP) till the 10WAP (91.73% – 48.19%), the minimum value for ash (13.50%) was observed at 6 WAP while the maximum value 16.57% was observed at the 10 WAP. The crude protein content increased from 4 WAP (23.86%) till 7 WAP (24.69%) and reduced till final harvesting at 10 WAP (23.29%), fat content ranges from 5.48% - 8.27%, fiber content increased from the 4 WAP till 10 WAP, nitrogen free extract revealed fluctuating values (46.05% - 50.53%). The study indicated that as the leaf matures the nutritional quality increases and the optimum value for crude protein was observed at 7 WAP.
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