Comparative Analysis of the Nutritional Content of Ripe and Unripe Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) obtained from Nigeria
O.R. Ezeigbo*, I.C. Ezeigbo
1Department of Biology/Microbiology, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Nigeria.
2Computational Sciences, Minerva Schools at KGI, San Francisco, California, USA.
Plantain is a monocotyledonous and important crop in the tropical and subtropical world regions. It is a staple crop and an important dietary source of carbohydrate in Nigeria and in the humid tropical zones of Africa, Asia and South America. The analyses of such foods provide evidence on nutritional quality and guide to healthy choice. Comparative analyses of phytochemical, proximate, vitamin and mineral content of ripe and unripe plantain were carried out using standard methods. The results showed that plantain (both ripe and unripe) have rich nutritional values. The statistical analysis also showed significant differences existed with phytochemical, vitamin and mineral composition of both ripe and unripe plantain with p-values lower than 0.05. The data obtained showed ripe plantain to have higher nutritional value in phytochemical, proximate, mineral and vitamin contents than the unripe except in crude fibre and carbohydrate content. This could be as a result of the decrease in the starch content as the plantain ripens; which is due to the conversion of starch to sugar that leads to increase in the sugar contents of the ripe plantain. The lower sugar content of the unripe (1.85±0%) compared to the ripe (4.31±0.01%) provided a suitable nutritional energy source for the management of diabetes.
Key words: Plantain, Ripe and unripe, nutritional content, Nigeria.