Monthly variation and impact of pollution on the nutritional value of Moringa oleifera (Lam.) Leaves

Author(s): Sachin Umesh Dubey, Madhu Kanta Kapoor

Abstract

Moringa oleifera Lam., commonly found tree in sub-Himalayan tracts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan has a high nutrition value. The leaves, flowers and immature pods of Moringa are used as a vegetable in many countries. The leaves are highly nutritious and medicinal in nature. They are a rich source of iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, proteins, and essential amino acids. Hence Moringa leaves can be a good source of protein for the vegetarians and the under-nourished population. Present investigation deals with the study of monthly variation in the nutritional value of Moringa leaves from the month of June 2015 to January 2016. Impact of urban sewage pollution and roadside vehicular pollution on the amount of reducing and total sugars, chlorophylls (a, b and total), proteins, vitamin-C and pH of the leaves, was also studied. Results revealed that the highest amounts of reducing sugars, total sugars, chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll during October 2015 whereas proteins, chlorophyll a, vitamin C and pH were highest during January 2016. Leaf samples collected from all the study sites exhibited minimum amounts of reducing sugars, chlorophylls (a, b and total) and pH during July 2015 whereas total sugars were lowest during December 2015. Proteins and vitamin C values were lowest during August and June 2015 respectively. Sewage and vehicular pollution showed an adverse effect on the nutritional contents of Moringa oleifera leaves. Of the two polluted sites, samples from near the sewage flow showed higher impact.

image 10.21746/ijbio.2017.6.10.5

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