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Research Project: Impact of Maternal Influence and Early Dietary Factors on Child Growth, Development, and Metabolic Health

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Title: Compositional analysis of phytochemicals and polysaccharides from Senegalese food-to-food fortification ingredients: Adansonia digitata (baobab), Moringa oleifera (moringa) and Hibsicus sabdariffa (hibiscus)

item DEBELO, HAWI - North Carolina State University
item FIECKE, CHESLEY - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)
item TEREKOV, ANTON - Purdue University
item REUHS, BRADLEY - Purdue University
item HAMAKER, BRUCE - Purdue University
item FERRUZZI, MARIO - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)

Submitted to: NFS Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2023
Publication Date: 6/29/2023
Citation: Debelo, H., Fiecke, C., Terekov, A., Reuhs, B., Hamaker, B.R., Ferruzzi, M.G. 2023. Compositional analysis of phytochemicals and polysaccharides from Senegalese food-to-food fortification ingredients: Adansonia digitata (baobab), Moringa oleifera (moringa) and Hibsicus sabdariffa (hibiscus). NFS Journal.

Interpretive Summary: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in the world. However, Africa is also home to approximately 400 plant species that are used in culinary applications. Among these indigenous plants, several micronutrient dense materials exist. The potential to use these indigenous fruits, vegetables and plant-based ingredients in food-to-food fortification strategies is supported by the fact that these ingredients can be sourced regionally and may be able to supply target micronutrients. However, more detailed characterization of tehse materials is needed to facilitate their use and broad application. The present study focused on carotenoids (provitamin A), tocopherols (vitamin E), phenolic compounds (antioxidants and antinutrients), organic acids (potentiators of iron and zinc absorption), and mono- and polysaccharide composition. An improved understanding of the nutritional profiles will contribute to ongoing efforts to leverage these ingredients for new product development in food-to-food fortification.

Technical Abstract: Certain indigenous African plant materials, including Adansonia digitata (baobab), Moringa oleifera (moringa), and Hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) could be leveraged in food-to-food fortification strategies due to their high content of nutrients, dietary fiber, and phenolic compounds. However, more studies are needed to understand the nutritional composition of commercially available food ingredients. The objective of this study was to examine the phytochemical and polysaccharide compositions of commercially available baobab, moringa, and hibiscus ingredients from Senegal. Characterization of carotenoids, tocopherols, phenolic compounds, monosaccharide composition, and glycosyl linkage was carried out. We observed that moringa contained the greatest content of carotenoids and tocopherols. Moringa also contained significant amounts of the flavonols quercetin 3-glucoside and quercetin 3-rutinoside, while baobab had greater concentrations of flavan-3-ols. Substantial content of anthocyanins was observed for hibiscus, but not moringa or baobab. The predominant monosaccharide in baobab was xylose, while hibiscus was a combination of xylose, galactose, and glucose. The primary monosaccharides in moringa were galactose and glucose. Based on our glycosyl linkage analysis, structures were attributed to rhamnogalacturonan-I, and xyloglucans. The phytochemical and polysaccharide characterization of baobab, moringa, and hibiscus suggested that delivery of micronutrients, such as iron and carotenoids, could be negatively impacted when applied as functional food ingredients.