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Abstract

PHYTOCHEMICAL AND HEAVY METALS DETERMINATION IN LEAFY VEGETABLES CONSUMED IN EASTERN NIGERIA.

Odoemelam S.A*., Ifenkwe O.I.O., Okoro E.K. and Okechukwu C.R.

ABSTRACT

Twelve leafy vegetables were randomly selected and analyzed for their heavy metals and anti-nutritional factors using standard analytical methods. They include Amaranthus hybridus, Vernonia amygdalina, Telfaria occidentalis, Gnetum africanum, Pterocarpus melibreadi, Hensia critina, Cucurbita pepo, Talinum triangulare, Gougrenema latifolium, Piper guinensis, Pterocarpus santolinoides and Occimum gratissimum. Iron (8.90-37.00 mg/100g) and zinc (1.07-22.20 mg/100g) were the dominant heavy metals present in all the leafy vegetable samples. Analysis of the phytochemicals showed high levels of alkaloids (0.84-2.42%) and Saponins (0.46-2.40%). The health implications of the heavy metal and phytochemicals determined are discussed.

Keywords: Phytochemicals, Heavy metals, Leafy vegetables.


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