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Proximate Composition, Phytochemical Screening and Antioxidant Activities of the Tubers of Plectrantus edulis

Author Affiliations

  • 1Program of Chemistry, Adama Science and Technology University, Adama, Ethiopia
  • 2Program of Chemistry, Adama Science and Technology University, Adama, Ethiopia

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 5, Issue (12), Pages 13-17, December,10 (2016)


Plectranthus edulis is a tuberous crop found in western, central and southern Ethiopia. Despite the significant contributions of tuberous crops towards food security, the food potential of P. edulis has not been fully utilized due to poor consumer awareness of its nutritional value. In view of this, the proximate composition of the tuber of P. edulis grown in Ethiopia were determined and found to have ash content ranged from 1.5 to 1.8%, crude fat (1.1 to 1.8%), crude fiber (4.46 to 5.99%), moisture (69.00 to 75.00%), protein (6.65 to 10.24%) and carbohydrate (6.17 to 11.99%). The study showed that the protein, crude fat, carbohydrate, and fiber contents of the tuber of P. edulis were superior to those values reported for the tuber of sweet potato, suggesting the usefulness of the tuber of P. edulis as natural food. Chemical screening of the methanol extract showed the presence of terpenoids, flavonoids, phenolics, and cardiac glycoside while, alkaloids, tannins, and antraquinone glycosides were absent. The presence of these secondary metabolites recorded in the present study is known to have positive effects on health. The study also demonstrates that the tuber of P. edulis showed strong antioxidative activity in both ferric thiocyanate and DPPH assay which is likely attributed to the presence of phenolics. This adds one positive attribute to the nutritional and pharmacological importance of P. edulis. The findings create awareness amongst stakeholders regarding the potential of this crops both as food and medicine.


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