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Evolution of nutrients in some leafy vegetable growth

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In Côte d'Ivoire several leafy vegetables are grown and consumed. However their maturity stages for consumption are not really defined. So six leafy vegetables (lagos spinach jute mallow roselle spinach black nightshade and amaranth) were grown during 2 months at the Agronomic Research Station of Anguededou (Abidjan). They were analysed each weeks for pH proteins sugars fibers vitamin C ß-carotene minerals and oxalic acid content. The results revealed that roselle was the most acid leafy vegetable and had the highest oxalic acid content. Protein level decreased during leafy vegetables growth. Total sugars level was constant between the 2nd and 5th weeks. Lagos spinach had the most elevated fibers content at the 3rd week (37.17% for soluble fiber and 66.1% for insoluble fiber). Amaranth and black nightshade had the highest vitamin C content at 7th week (64.44 and 66.67 mg/100 g fresh weight (FW) respectively). Moreover roselle had the highest ß-carotene content (64.12 mg/100 g FW at the 5th week). Phosphorus content of amaranth and black nightshade was the highest at 6th week with respectively 0.45 mg/100 g dry matter (DM) and 0.33 mg/100 g DM. Magnesium level was constant during leafy vegetables growth. Spinach and jute mallow had the highest iron content at the 5th week (70 and 88.8 mg/100 g DM). The most elevated calcium level was found in spinach (3.68 g/100 g DM at the 6th week) and in lagos spinach (4.8 g/100 g DM at the 8th week). On the other hand the lowest potassium content was in roselle (1.84 g/100 g DM at the 8th week). The propitious period for leafy vegetables consumption is between the 3rd and the 5th weeks of growth because nutrients levels are maximal.

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