Nutritional analysis of some selected wild edible plants consumed by the tribal people of Meghalaya state in India
Tapan Seal, Kausik Chaudhuri
The nutritional potential of five wild leafy vegetables e.g. Gnetum gnemon, Prenanthes hookeri, Smilax perfoliata, Blumea lanceolaria and Pilea melastomoides collected from Meghalaya state in India, were evaluated by determining their proximate and minerals composition. These wild edible plants form an important constituent of traditional diets in the Meghalaya. The present study revealed that for different plant species, the crude fat content ranged between 0.94±0.03 - 5.25±0.05 %. The crude protein content was determined high in the leaves of P. hookeri (21.62±0.07%), G. gnemon (21.49±0.02%)and P. melastomoides (18.69±0.03 %)whiletheavailablecarbohydrate content was highest in the leaves of S. perfoliata (73.49±0.03 %).The energy content ranged from 308.44±0.19 - 397.38±0.49 kcal/100g in the various wild edible plants. Among the various macronutrients estimated in the samples of plants under study, potassium was present in the highest quantity (15.63±0.23- 47.31±0.25 mg/g) followed by calcium (12.52±0.04-28.16±0.04 mg/g) and sodium (0.30±0.002-0.42±0.005 mg/g). The micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium were analyzed. The result indicates that nutritional values and mineral contents of these plants under investigation were richer than that of the commercial vegetables and could be used for nutritional purpose. The present study also gives an account of ethnobotanical significance of the wild plants under investigation.