The anti-nutritional composition of Okro seeds flour at different stages of maturity at harvest were analyzed. The Okro fruits were harvest at one and two, week’s maturity after fruity. They were de-husked prior to the determination of anti-nutritional composition. The results were statistically analyzed descriptively and correlatively at 95% confidence limit. The tannin, saponine alkaloid, flavonoid, sterol and cyanides contents of the seeds increase with maturity. The increments were as follows: (1.49-278)%, (1.18-1.48)%, (0.95-1.25)%, (0.62-0.80)%, (0.80-0.4)%, (9.55-17.58)%
It was also revealed that, the cyanide content was the highest with (9.55-17.58)% while the sterol content was the least with (0.08-0.14)% in composition. However, phytate, oxalate, haemoglutnin, trysin inhibitor, reduced with the seed maturity which ranged from (0.76-0.59)%, (1.23-0.84)% (8.75-5.83) Hu/s and (634.25-379.59) Tu/s respectively. The anti-nutrients examined were high. This implied that before the matured Okro seeds could be used in food and animal feed formulation, it has to be subjected to those pre-processing operation that could help reduce the anti-nutritional composition level.
Okra (Abelmoschus. esculentus) is one of the important vegetable with tremendous nutritional values. To meet demand for nutritionally balanced food for the world’s increasing population and relieve the intense pressure, plant species used as food must be diversified (Hughes, 2001). Inclusion of a wide array of indigenous vegetables species in cereals, tubers and livestock based agriculture will be crucial to contribute to food nutritional security and income diversification for stake holders in the subsistence farming system that predominate in the under development and developing world.
Okra has considerable area under cultivation in Africa and Asia with huge socioeconomic potential. In the African context, Okra has been called as a perfect villager’s vegetable because of its robust nature dietary fibers and distinct seed protein balanced in both lysine and tryptophane amino acids, it provides to diet (NAP, 2006).
However, Okra has been considered a minor crop and until recently no attention was paid to its improvement in the international research program. This review presents a general overview of Okra’s nutritional and economic potential with special reference to past and recent progress on its improvement Okra is also called Okra, Ochro, lady’s finger etc. it is of different cultivars, which vary in time of planting to maturity, colour of leaves, steam, length, shape of fruit and other characters. Okra is traditionally grown in a region of many countries especially. Nigeria, Ghana, Asia etc. (de lannoy, 2001) Okra have a great potential to improve the nutrition and thereby health of consumers as most are good sources of vitamins, minerals and proteins needed for the proper functioning and development of the human body.
Okra fruit can be dried whole or sliced and subsequently consumed, before selling, the dried product is usually ground to a powder (slemonsma and kouame 2004). Okra can be preserved by fermentation canned out at 30oc.
Drying is the most common form of food preservation and extends the food shelf life. The major objective in drying agricultural products is the reduction of the moisture content to a level which allows safe storage over an extended period. Also it brings about substantial reduction in weight and volume minimizing packaging storage and transportation. (Okras et al.,1992). The drying method is by sundry but it required long drying time that may have adverse consequences in the product quality which may contaminate the end product by dust and insects or suffer from enzyme.
Recently an attention has been given to the use of Okra seeds an a source of proteins (about 20% of dry matter) and vegetable oil (about 14% of dry matter). Seeds contain mainly monounsaturated fatly acids and palmitic acid and their high Lysine level, (Adelakun et al 2008). Sometimes, the seeds are roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. Apart from its nutritive value the stem and fruit sheath used in the manufacture of paper as they contain more of the crude fibre.
At a particular stage of maturity of Okra fruits they cannot be consumed because they become too fibrous and difficult to slice. The fruits are discard or either stored for the next planting season. To minimize post-harvest food causes therefore, this work was aimed at investigating on the effect on maturity stage at harvest on the anti-nutritional composition of Okra seeds, (Agbo et al 2008). Also the result from the work will help to promote industrial application of the Okra seeds.