Nutritional potential of five unexplored wild edible plants consumed by the tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh state in India
Tapan Seal, Basundhara Pillai, Kausik Chaudhuri
Background and Objective: The objective of the present study is to evaluate the nutritional potential of five wild edible plants e.g. Allium hookeri Thw. Enum (bulb), Cardamine macrophylla Willd. (Whole plant), Sarcochlamys pulcherrima (Roxb.) Gaud (leaves), Eryngium foetidum Linn. (Leaves) and Bambusa balcooa Roxb. (Young shoot)collected from Arunachal Pradesh in India. These plants are consumed by the different tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh to meet their adequate level of nutrition. Materials and Methods: The proximate parameters like ash, moisture, protein, fat, fibre, carbohydrate, energy content and minerals viz. sodium, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, were evaluated in the selected wild edible plants using standard food analysis techniques. By determining their proximate and mineral's composition. Results: The present study revealed that for different plant species, the crude fat content ranged between 1.36±0.04 - 2.60±0.13 %. The crude protein content was determined high among the whole plant of C. macrophylla (27.84±0.02%), leaves of S. pulcherrima (15.60±0.02%) and young shoot B. balcooa (13.24±0.02 %) while the available carbohydrate content was highest in the leaves of E. foetidum (76.23±0.30 %). The energy content ranged from 309.16±0.99 – 354.64 ±0.28 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 (23.98±0.13-67.14±0.29 mg/g) followed by calcium (11.96±0.27-27.35±0.27 mg/g) and sodium (0.22±0.008-2.69±0.09 mg/g). Conclusions: The outcome of investigation 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 the nutritional purpose. The present study also provides an account of ethnobotanical importance of the wild plants under investigation. These undomesticated palatable plants form an important constituent of traditional subsistence’s in Arunachal Pradesh.