alexa POSTHARVEST HANDLING OF THE EDIBLE PARTS (LEAVES AND FR


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Research Article

POSTHARVEST HANDLING OF THE EDIBLE PARTS (LEAVES AND FRUITS) OF THE DESERT DATE (BALANITESAEGYPTIACA) A CASE STUDY IN THE JIRAPA AND NADOWLI DISTRICTS OF THE UPPER WEST REGION OF GHANA

1Ninfaa Dery Augustus, 2Maalekuu B.K &3Akurugu Gordon K.
  1. Department of Ecological Agriculture, School of Applied Science and Arts, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, P.O.
    Box 767, Bolgatanga- Ghana
  2. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Department of Horticulture
  3. Food and Drugs Authority, P. O. Box 291, WA- Upper West Region, Ghana
 

Abstract

The study was conducted in the Nadowli and Jirapa Districts of the Upper West Region of Ghana, with the objectives of documenting the uses of the desert date, determining the methods of harvesting the leaves and the fruits since the plant is very thorny, identifying the methods of processing and preserving the fruits and the leaves and determining the nutritional composition of the leaves and fruits.Cutting down and plucking the leaves and standing by tree and plucking leaves were the two major methods of harvesting the leaves while the fruits are allowed to fall and they pick them.The leaves and the dry fruits are edible, the leaves are eaten as vegetables in soup or added to a prepared meal called ‘koose’, the leaves are processed and preserved by boiling and drying while the fruits are dried and preserved or the coat is peeled off and soaked in water for a drink.The root is poisonous and used for fishing. The stem of the plant is used for fuel and can also be carved in to mortar and pestles.Nutritionally, the leaves contain 41.41% moisture, 17.06% protein 16.02% fibre, 30.92% carbohydrates and 231.02 Cal/100g of energy while the fruits contain 24.63% moisture, 3.85% protein, 8.72% fibre 59.53% carbohydrates and 277.02 Cal/100g of energy.The desert date plant grows in the wild and has various uses in the area, therefore the people should be encouraged to eat and cultivate it.

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