Nutrient Supplementation (Moringa Oleifera L.) For the Advancement of Impoverished Populations
Moringa plant parts could be exploited to make the greatest nutraceuticals contribution amongst impoverished communities globally. Considering the many cases of malnutrition related deaths in especially many regions of Africa, the current research effort was conceived with the objective of appraising the nutritive potential of Moringa oleifera L. plant through the evaluation of proper agronomic practice that will enhance its nutritive potential. Measured quantity of dried roots, stem, and leaves portions of 5 months old Moringa oleifera L. seedlings, grown under various applied phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) rates were analysed for secondary metabolites (phenolics and flavonoids) and total antioxidants. The 2,2ꞌ- diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay revealed strong antioxidants presence (up to 68% DPPH scavenging activity and a high level FRAP potential of 2500 mg ascorbic acid equivalent (AAE) / 100g dry weight (DW). Folin-Ciocalteu’s and aluminium chloride calorimetric assay revealed high levels of secondary metabolites (ranging from 1000 – 1350 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/100g DW total phenolics and up to 2400 mg quercetin equivalent (QE)/1mg DW total flavonoids). The trial establishes the antioxidants presence in various plant parts (roots, stem, and leaves), as well as demonstrate the existence of substantial level of amino acids plus mineral nutrients (especially Fe and Ca) within the Moringa oleifera L. specie. Equally noted is the considerable variation of the antioxidant activity, with the aerial leaves portion depicting elevated level activity, followed by the underground root portion, with the stem portraying the lowest level of activity. These nutritive components are noted to be highest in the leaves portion, followed by the roots, and then the stem parts. Based on its recognised rich base nutritive content, Moringa oleifera L. is a tree plant of nutraceuticals importance for impoverished communities. Our findings underlined the importance of various moringa plant parts (roots, stem, and leaves) with respect to essential nutritive materials. There are strong indications that with further studies, molecular extracts of this important plant can be utilized for biochemical and pharmacological benefits.