Proximate and heavy metal analysis of pumpkins brought to two different markets in Osun State Nigeria (Owode Ede and Ota-Efun Osogbo)

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2016

13 Pages, Grade: 3.2




1.1 Uses of Telfairaoccidentalis
1.2 Blood Pressure Reduction





Proximate and heavy metal analysis were carried out o the leaves of pumpkin bought in two different market in Osun State Nigeria (Owode Ede and Ota-Efun Osogbo). The result of proximate analysis showed that the leaves contain; Moisture (2.88 % and 2.53%), Ash (14.45% and 13.90%), Crude Fibre (2.6 % and 2.3 %), Fat (13.20 % and 12.85%), Protein (25.66 % and 25.40 %) and Carbohydrate (41.21 % and 43.02 %) respectively for A and B. This shows that the pumpkin leaves could be used as food to supplement these nutrients. The result of heavy metal analysis using (AAS) analysis reveals that concentration of Zn (2.32 mg/g and 1.76 mg/g), Cu(1.55 mg/g and 1.05 mg/g), Fe (5.98 mg/g and 5.30 mg/g) and Mn (0.21 mg/g and 0.16 mg/g) for A and B respectively. Because of high concentration of Zn and Fe, it was concluded that pumpkin leaves could be a good source of energy and proteins for human and animals.

Key words: Proximate, Heavy metal, Pumpkin, Carbohydrate and Fibre.


Vegetables are the edible parts of herbaceous plants that are consumed wholly or in parts, raw or cooked as part of main dish or salad; they may be aromatic, bitter or tasteless (Dhellot et al., 2006). They include leaves, stems, roots, flowers, seeds, fruits, and bulbs. They are regular ingredients in the diet of the average Nigerian and provide appreciable amounts of nutritive minerals (Ajewole, 1999). Even though the bulk of their weight is water, leafy vegetables represent a veritable natural pharmacy of minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals (George, 2003).Leafy vegetable investigated in this experiment was Telfariaoccidentalis.

Fluted pumpkin (Telfairiaoccidentalis) is a creeping vegetable that spread low across the ground with lobed leaves and long twisting tendrils. It is a warm weather crop which grows well in low lands and it tolerates elevation of some few meters above the ground (Horsfall et al, 2005). It thrives best in soil rich in organic matters; fluted pumpkin (TelfairiaOccidentalis) as it is commonly known in Nigeria plays an important role in human and livestock nutrition, most especially in southern part of the country. It is source of protein, oil, fat, mineral and vitamins, which makes the leaves of the vegetable more useful in the preparation of several delicacies mostly in southern Nigeria and also other parts of the country (Aletor, et al., 2002).The leaves contain a high amount of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, hepatoprotective and antimicrobial properties (Oboh et al., 2006). The leaf extract is useful in the management of cholesterolemia, liver problems and impaired defense immune systems (Eseyin et al., 2005).

Fluted pumpkin thrives better in the early part of the rainy season; it also can be grown in the garden and farmed as vegetables. Fluted pumpkin has received a considerable attention in the past years; this is due to their nutritional and health protective values of the proteins from itsleaves and seeds (Achinewu,1987 ).Also the production of fluted pumpkin as dry season vegetable has developed from small garden to a form of commercial farming because of the production of local and exotic vegetables.(Edem et al,2009)

The root of fluted pumpkin is believed to be highly toxic to man if consumed. (Akpanunam 1984) reported on the effect of processing and temperature on its ascorbic acid and also the total carotenoids content and on its biochemical composition, (Achinewu 1987), also report on the thiamine riboflavin and niacin content of the fermented fluted pumpkin while (Akpanunam,1998) evaluated it’s mineral and toxicant content, (Ajayi et al 1980), and (Apkanunam,1984) also reported on the loss of vitamin-c content in Cooked telfairiaoccidentalis.

1.1 Uses of Telfairaoccidentalis

The fruits of the plant are large and inedible buthe seeds contain up to 30% protein and can be boiledand eaten, or ground into powder for soup. The seeds ofthe plant can also be fermented for several days andeaten as a slurry(Badifu and Ogunsina,1991). The Leaves arealso rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals (Fasuyi, 2006).Theherbal preparation of the plant has been employedin the treatment of suddenattack of convulsion, malariaand anaemia (Gbile, 1986). Based on its use as ahaematinic, its effects on haematological indices hadbeen scientifically investigated and reported. The dietpreparation of the air-dried leaves of the plant significantlyincreased red blood cell count, white blood cellcount, packed cell volume and haemoglobin concentrationin rats while the dietary preparationmade with the sun-dried leaves had no significant effecton haematological parameters in birds (Alada, 2000).

1.2 Blood Pressure Reduction

Blood pressure control is important for the prevention of heart diseases and stroke which can be influence by numerous factors, hypertension can be caused by atherosclerosis, in balance in the rennin-angiotention system and hyperinsulinemia which increase sodium retention in the body. Consequently, a general nutritional plan to minimize hypertension risk include attaining and maintaining healthy body weight, consuming a diet rich in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium; Also animal products with the vegetable diet has been found to reduces blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive Individuals. Lower intake of fat and higher intake of dietary fiber, minerals, and vegetable diet is believed to reduce blood pressure. (Aletor , et al.,2002).



- Fume cupboard
- Hot plate
- Micro digestion flask
- Volumetric flask
- Glass funnel


10-20ml sample

40% of 10ml -20ml sodium hydroxide solution

2% of 5ml Boric Acid

0.1M HCl or H2SO4(For titration)

Indicator(methyl Orange)

Perchloric acid

Nitric acid

Digestion tablet

Distilled water


The species of fluted pumpkin were randomly obtained from Owode market, Edeand Ota-Efun market, Osogbo both in Osun State. The samples were air dried for some weeks and after it has been dried, they were pounded using mortar and pestle, then sieve and stored in an air-proof polyethylene bags in the laboratory until when needed for analysis.


Moisture content determination

This was done according to AOAC (1990), where 2g of the fresh leaves of pumpkin were weighed (W1) into pre-weighed crucible (W0) and placed into a hot drying oven at 105oC for 24 hours. The crucible was removed, cooled in a desiccators and re-weighed (W2). The processes of drying, cooling and weighing were repeated until a constant weight (W2) was obtained. The weight loss due to moisture was obtained by the equation.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Crude Protein Content Determination

Crude protein was determined using the micro-Kjeldhal method as described by AOAC (1990), whereby 2g of sample was weighed along with 20cm3 of distilled water into a micro Kjeldahl digestion flask. It was shaken and allowed to stand for some time. One tablet of selenium catalyst was added followed by addition of 20cm3 conc. H2SO4. The flask was heated on the digestion block at 1000C for 4 hours until the digest became clear. The flask was removed from the block and allowed to cool. The content was transferred into a 50cm3 volumetric flask and diluted to the mark with water. An aliquot of the digest (10cm3) was transferred into another Micro-Kjeldhal flask along with 20cm3 of distilled water and placed in the distilling outlet of the Micro-Kjeldhal distillation unit. A conical flask containing 20cm3 of boric acid indicator (2% boric acid containing bromo cresol green-methyl red indicator) was placed under the condenser outlet. Sodium hydroxide solution (20cm3, 40%) was added to the content in the Kjeldhal flask by opening the funnel stop cock. The distillation started and the heat supplied was regulated to avoid sucking back. When all the available distillate was collected in 20cm3 of boric acid, the distillation was stopped. The nitrogen in the distillate was determined by titrating with 0.01M of H2SO4. . The crude protein was calculated using the equation; % crude protein = % N x 6.25. The nitrogen content of the sample is given by the formula;

illustration not visible in this excerpt

TV = Titre value of acid (cm3)

Na = Concentration or normality of acid

V1 = Volume of distilled water used for distilling the digest (50 cm3)

V2 = Volume of aliquot used for distilling the digest (10 cm3)

Ash Content Determination

This was done according to AOAC (1990), where 2g of the powdered leaves sample was weighed (W1) into pre-weighed empty crucibles (W0) and place into a muffled furnace at 600oC for 3 hours. The ash was cooled in a desiccator and weighed (W2). The weight of the ash was determined by the difference between the powdered leaves sample, pre-weighed crucible and the ash in the crucible.


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Proximate and heavy metal analysis of pumpkins brought to two different markets in Osun State Nigeria (Owode Ede and Ota-Efun Osogbo)
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Proximate, Heavy metal, Pumpkin, Carbohydrate and Fibre
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Adekunle Jelili Olaoye (Author), 2016, Proximate and heavy metal analysis of pumpkins brought to two different markets in Osun State Nigeria (Owode Ede and Ota-Efun Osogbo), Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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