Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition, Aging and Chronic Disease, Obesity
Objectives : There is a growing search for nutrients from cheap and readily available sources against the back drop of growing population and poverty in developing countries. Therefore, this study was aimed at evaluating and comparing the phytochemicals and nutritional compositions of fresh, sprouted and toasted Citrullus lanatus seeds
Methods : The phytochemicals, proximate, amino acids, microminerals and antinutrients compositions were determined following standard procedures. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA followed by LSD and Duncan test for levels of significance.
Results : Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of Tannins, Saponins, Flavonoids, Alkaloids, Cardiac glycosides, Terpenoids in the fresh, sprouted and toasted samples but anthroquinones was present only in the fresh samples but absent in sprouted and toasted watermelon seeds. There was no significant (p > 0.05) difference in the concentrations of the phytochemicals in all the samples except for cyanogenic glycosides which was significantly (p < 0.05) high in the fresh sample. Percentage protein (24.87±0.48) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the sprouted sample, ash (2.63±0.11) was significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the sprouted, fibre (20.64±0.23) and moisture (2.88±0.19) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the toasted and carbohydrates (9.81±1.27) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the sprouted when the samples were compared against each other. Results obtained for Amino acids and mineral analyses showed no significant (p > 0.05) difference in the three samples. Saponins (2.15±0.07), Tannins (40.63± 0.13) Cyanogenic glycosides (3.55± 0.35) and Phytates (0.31± 0.01) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the fresh sample while oxalates (0.85±0.01) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the sprouted sample.
Conclusions : Fresh, sprouted and toasted watermelon seeds may possess nutritional and health benefit by the virtue of their richness in phytochmicals, microminerals and amino acids.
Funding Sources : Personally funded