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Nutritive Content And Anti-Microbial Effects Of Tiger Nut (Cyperus Esculentus)




There is a growing need for natural products, that can be nutritious and have antimicrobial properties to control the health challenges of patients. This study evaluates the nutritive content and antimicrobial effects of Tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus). Fresh samples (10kg) of Tiger nuts were locally purchased and processed into Milk Juice, Wine and Flour samples. Proximate composition analysis, sensory evaluation, phytochemical screening and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of each sample was carried out using standard methods. The Proximate analysis showed that Tiger nut was rich in moisture content of 83.0%, Energy value of 84.82%, Carbohydrate of 9.33%, Crude protein of 3.11%, Fat of 4.0%, Ash content of 0.57% and 0.5% fibre. The mineral contents include  Na, Ca, Fe, Mg, Zn, Cu, and P. The most prevalent mineral element in Tiger nut is potassium (214.16 mg/g in milk Juice, 125mg/g in wine and 287.6mg/g in flour) respectively. The vitamin contents include Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, with Vitamin A being the most abundant (32.48mg/g in milk juice, 30.0mg/0 in wine and 35.97mg/g in flour).  The sensory evaluation values of the milk Juice were highest (appearance 8.21, Taste 8.30,  Flavour 7.95 and general acceptability 8.40). The phytochemical contents include Alkaloids, Saponin, Flavonoid, Physates, Glycosides and Tannins (which is highest in milk juice 6.21mg/g). The tiger nut wine has the most potent antimicrobial effects against the following clinical isolates Escherichia sp, Salmonella sp, Klebsiella sp and Shigella sp. Based on this results, Tiger nut is recommended for use as snacks, beverages and antimicrobials. Also, i recommend that this perennial grass-like plant should be cultivated in our botanical garden, both state and federal farmlands and individual farms. This will go a long way to solve the problem of food scarcity in our nation. Its anti-microbial effects will certify Tiger-nut to be use as raw material in the production of anti-biotics in pharmaceutical industries.



1.1 Background  of the Study.

Tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) is a perennial grass-like plant/weed with spheroid edible tubers of the sedge family (Ukwuru et al, 2011; Adel et al., 2015). It  belongs to the division of Magnoliophyte, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales  and family Cyperaceae and was found to be a cosmopolitan, perennial crop of the same genus as  the  papyrus  plant (Bamgbose et al., 2003  ; Ekeanyanwu et al., 2009). The tubers are yellow in color, nutty and about the size of peanuts. It is native to the old world but is found in  both   tropical  and Mediterranean regions, (Bamgbose et al., 2003). It is abundantly cultivated in Africa, South America, Spain, Europe and Asia.

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Tiger nuts grow in the wild as weed, along rivers and are cultivated on a small scale by rural farmers mostly in the northern states of Nigeria (Ukwuru et al., 20 11). It has many other names like Zulu nut, yellow nut grass, ground almond, chufa, edible rush nut, etc. it is locally called ‘aya’ in Hausa, ‘akiawusa’ in Igbo, ‘ofio’ in Yoruba and ‘isipaccara’ in effik (Adejuyitan et al., 2009).

The tiger nuts are highly valued for their high nutrients content. They can be eaten raw or roasted, used as hog feed or pressed for its juice to make beverages. It has been demonstrated to be rich source of quality oil, carbohydrate, protein, dietary fibres, vitamins and minerals (Oladele and Aina 2007). It is also found to contain phytochemicals, oleic acids, myristic acids,linoleic acid and mineral elements such as sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and traces of copper (Belewu and Abodunrin 2008, Ekeanyanwu and Ononogbo 2010; Muhammed et al., 2011). Due to their nutritive values, antioxidant effects, anti-microbial properties, and phytochemical constituents. Tiger nuts have been reported to have excellent benefits. They have been found to have positive effect on cholesterol due to high content of vitamin E, help to prevent colon cancer due to high content of soluble glucose. They are very effective in preventing heart diseases, thrombosis and blood circulation problems (Martinez, 2003; Chukwuna et al., 2010). The tiger-nut juice is good for diabetic patient and for those intent on losing weight (Borges et al., 2008).

Tiger nuts are said to have aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, stimulant and tonic effects. Tiger nut flour have demonstrated to be a source of quality oil and contain moderate amount of proteins. It is also an excellent source of some useful minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus which are essential for body growth and development (Oladele and Aina,2007). Tiger-nuts have also been reported to be used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, worm diseases, bacterial infections and excessive thirst. In addition, it has been demonstrated to contain higher essential amino acids than those produced in the protein standard by the FAO/WHO for satisfying adult need ( Bosch et al., 2005)

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Tiger-nuts milk have  been reported to be good for arteriosclerosis which contain arginine which is a precursor of nitric oxide which helps to the vein expanded effects (Bosch et. al., 2005). For diabetics, the arginine helps liberate the hormone that produces insulin for control of blood sugar. The Tiger nut milk is also an ideal drink for those people who are not able to take gluten and also for those who are not able to take cow’s milk and it derivatives. It could also be recommended for those who have heavy digestion problems  because it provides a lot of digestive enzymes like catalase, lipase and amylase (Belewu and Belewu, 2007; Belewu and Abodunrin, 2008).

From economic point of view, Tiger-nut offer a huge potential for product development. The nuts are used in the production of a variety of fermented food products and beverages which are exported worldwide (Makinen et al.,  2016, Marsh et al, 2014). The ground flour of tiger nuts can be mixed with  sorghum and used in making porridge, ice cream, sheabutter or milk drinks and juices. Tiger nuts is a representative crop of the Spanish Mediterranean region, where the tubers are used to make horchata dechufa. The nut oil may be used as biofuel (Barminas et al., 2001), while the fibres can be exploited and used in livestock feed production.

1.2 Statement  of the Problem

Despite its advantages, Tiger-nuts seem to be a neglected crop and attracted very little scientific and technological interest in Nigeria. The nuts are also underutilized and poorly cultivated in the country. Also there is no documentation of a successful product development from Tiger- nuts in Nigerian market. Not much is known about its nutritional contents and anti-microbial characteristics and effect as regards to its consumption. This may be due to poor knowledge of economic and health benefits of the crop. However, Tiger-nuts is still one of the least popular tubers or underutilized crops in Nigeria, Food insecurity have been a major case which continues to threaten large proportion of people in low income countries and hence the need for this research project which intends to examine the nutritive contents and anti-microbial effects of Nigerian Tiger nuts.

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1.3     Aim and Objective of Study

1.3.1  Main Objective of Study

To examine the nutritive content and anti-microbial effects of Tiger-nut(Cyperus esculentum).

1.3.2     Specific Objectives

This study is specifically designed to;

  1. i) Determine the proximate, phytochemical, mineral and vitamin contents of Tiger-nuts.
  2. ii) Access the anti-microbial susceptibility patterns of the Tiger-nuts.

iii) To examine the anti- microbial effect of Tiger-nut

1.4       Significance of the Study

In recent years, the need to increase the production and utilization of locally available food resources has been highlighted at different national and international level for  Tiger nuts, one of the underutilized food crops locally available in Nigeria could be demonstrated to aim in solving major nutritional problems through explanation of its nutritional and economic potentials.

The results of the present study will provide a baseline data on nutrient contents and anti-microbial models of Tiger-nuts. This will go a long way to demystify its nutrient load and help diversify its use, which will in turn lead to its increased production both at household and national levels, ultimately to ensure food security and sufficiency.

Furthermore, it is expected that through the knowledge of its compositions and anti-microbial effects, Tiger-nuts may be exploited for use in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hemorrhoids, cardiovascular diseases and bacterial infections.

1.5    Scope of The Study

The study is concerned with the Nigerian Tiger-nuts, their nutrient compositions and anti-microbial properties.

Pages:  99

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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