Onyechi, U.A., Ibeanu, V.N., Eme, Paul and Okafor C.
Department of Home Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
This study evaluated the nutrient and phytochemical composition of pawpaw (Carica papaya) seed flour. Fresh ripe pawpaw fruits purchased from a local market in Enugu State, Nigeria, were washed and cut into two vertical halves. The seeds were extracted manually, sun dried for five days and milled into fine flour with the dry component of electric Molinnex blender. The seed flour was analyzed in triplicates for nutrients and phytochemical compositions using the standard methods. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 15 for means and standard deviation. Results showed that pawpaw seed flour contained 30% protein, 32% fat, 3.16% crude fibre and 18.11% carbohydrate. Mineral and vitamin content of the flour zinc (3.30mg/100g); iron (0.71mg/100g); calcium (0.78mg/100g); phosphorus (47.71mg/100g); potassium (32.23mg/100g); magnesium (1.57mg/100g); vitamin C (2.34mg/100g) and vitamin A (63.83μg/100g). The seed flour in addition had low amount of alkaloids (3.57mg/100g); saponin (8.88mg/100g) and flavonoids (4.10mg/100g) in relation to their safe levels. The results of this study showed that pawpaw seed flour has good nutrient profile and could be incorporated into existing foods to
improve the nutritional value.