PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF MANILA TAMARIND (PITHECELLOBIUM DULCE): A TRIBAL FRUIT OF RAJASTHANSwati Shukla and Shashi Jain
In India utilization of wild plants by tribal communities for nutritional as well as medicinal purposes has been documented long back in ancient literature. Even today various tribal sects of India are repositories of rich knowledge on various uses of plant genetic resources. In the present day wild edible plants are particularly useful during famine and similar scarcity situation. Even during normal times, wild plants provide materials of diet to the less advanced section of human community. Although, these wild edible plants play an important role in food security, but they are ignored hence known as underutilized plants. With the depletion of natural resources, it has been felt necessary to explore the possibility of use of new plant resources having potential for food, fodder, energy uses. Their enhanced use can bring about better nutrition and fight hidden hunger. For example, many underutilized fruits and vegetables contain more micronutrients like vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, minerals and higher amounts of antioxidants than widely available commercial species and varieties. Therefore keeping in view the present investigation was carried out to assess the physicochemical characteristics of Manila Tamarind (Pithecellobium dulce) fruit. The result of the study showed lower contents of carbohydrate, negligible fat, presence of dietary fibre and high amounts of ascorbic acid.
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