Changes in Telfaria occidentalis leaf morphology, quality and phytochemical composition under different local preservation regimes in Nigeria

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-021-00188-z
First Page: 29
Last Page: 36
Views: 671

Keywords: Fluted pumpkin, Leafy vegetable, Traditional preservation, Plant shelf-life, Food security


Leafy vegetables have short shelf life due to their succulent nature. This study assesses local preservation methods to infer the most suitable and prevalent approach for increasing the shelf life of Telfaria occidentalis. Common post-harvest preservation of T. occidentalis includes refrigeration, wrapping in banana leaves, exposure on bare floor, drying on rooftops, and mixing with leaves of Vernonia amygdalina. Daily physical observations and moisture content determination were done for ten days after exposure to the local preservation conditions. Results suggest that wrapping T. occidentalis leaves with plantain leaves was the most prevalent preservation method in the study area. However, this method had the highest rate of T. occidentalis leaf degradation (which began after 3 days) compared to the other methods employed in the study. In terms of moisture content and ferulic acid composition, refrigeration was observed to be the most suitable preservation method. It maintained foliar moisture content of > 60% for eight days, whereas moisture content was < 25.5% on the fourth day in the other preservation method assessed. Similarly ferulic acid content in the refrigerated samples (147.44 mg/ml) was highest at 10 days after, compared to the baseline value (42.87 mg/ml) and those of leave samples on bare floor (56.95 mg/ml). In conclusion, local preservation methods like drying and exposure on rooftops and bare floor, respectively, should be supported to increase the availability of dried T. occidentalis leaves while electric power supply required for refrigeration need to be improved.

Fluted pumpkin, Leafy vegetable, Traditional preservation, Plant shelf-life, Food security

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The authors are grateful to IAESTE for supporting Pieter-Jan Loveniers during the study.

Author Information

Ikhajiagbe Beckley
Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria

Atoe Ruth
Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria

Ogwu Matthew Chidozie
Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria