International Open Access Journal

Greener Trends in Food Science and Nutrition

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Greener Trends in Food Science and Nutrition

Vol. 1(1), pp. 11-18, 2018

ISSN: 2672-4499

Copyright ©2018, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

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Biochemical Composition, Potential Food and Feed Values of Aerial Parts of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.)


 *Enyiukwu DN, Amadioha AC and Ononuju CC


 Department of Plant Health Management, Michael Okpara Universty of Agriculture, Umudike PMB 7267 Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.





Article No.: 080118107

Type: Research

DOI: 10.15580/GTFSN.2018.1.080118107



Cowpea is a multi-purpose crop tolerant to drought and salinity.  In farming systems it plays important roles of mitigating climate change by sinking greenhouse gases, lowering aluminum toxicity in the rhizosphere and restoring soil fertility. Its haulms, hay, leaves and grains are reported as good sources of nutrients required for proper functioning of metabolic processes in livestock and humans. However, variations in biochemical compositions amongst its aerial organs are thought to exist; and this could affect its possible nutritional values and the attendant health benefits from these organs. The results of the biochemical profiling of cowpea aerial organs in this study indicated the presence at varying degrees of a wide array of nutrients in the organs. It showed that protein occurred in the range (11.21-34.91%), carbohydrates (31.11-54.02%), crude protein (prebiotics) (3.94-22.12%), fat (0.81-5.42%), iron (0.89-65.21 mg/100 g), calcium (1.50-16.15.20 mg/100 g), phosphorus (171.55-554.01 mg), magnesium (0.26-1658.84 mg), potassium (1.03-13,445.25 mg/ 100 g) and sodium (0.13-2,216.10 mg/ 100 g). The results further showed that the leaf was the most nutrient-dense, being especially rich in terms of protein, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and sodium contents; followed by the seed and then stem samples. Though the husk was the least in mean nutrient density, however, the highest levels of crude fibre and carbohydrate contents were recorded in the husk specimen. Amongst leafy vegetables and fruits for human consumption, the leaves and seeds are probably the highest known sources of organic potassium (13.5 g and 1.29 g), phosphorus (554.01 mg and 498.06 mg) and iron (65.21 mg and 11.00 mg) for the leaf and seed respectively which function to alleviate muscle cramps prevent hypertension, stroke, maintain sexual virility, confer strength and fight anaemia. Knowledge of the disparities in nutrient contents of these organs could aid in combining feedstuff for animal nutrition especially during dry season, to formulate feeds for poultry in intensive production systems and to prepare concentrates for infants and the elderly during bouts of famine, wars or natural disasters.


Submitted: 01/08/2018

Accepted:  10/08/2018




*Corresponding Author

Enyiukwu DN

E-mail: enyidave2003 @




Cowpea, nutrients, feed value, protein, prebiotics, food value



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Cite this Article: Enyiukwu DN, Amadioha AC, Ononuju CC (2018). Biochemical Composition, Potential Food and Feed Values of Aerial Parts of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.). Greener Trends in Food Science and Nutrition, 1(1): 11-18,

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