Author Archives: emmanuel ekpa

EFFECT OF PROCESSING METHODS AND TIME ON THE VITAMIN C CONTENTS OF SOME LEAFY VEGETABLES SOLD IN LOKOJA, NIGERIA

A simple iodometric method of titration was used to determine the effect of storage, processing type and time on the vitamin C content of the leaves and stalk of Spinacea oleracea (alefo), Vernonia amygdalina (bitterleaf), Telfaria occidentalis( ugu), and Corchorus olitorius (ewedu). Processing methods like blanching, sundrying, and fridge storage were applied to each vegetable. Fresh leaves and stalk under no processing condition showed a vitamin C content of 140.5mg/100g and 61.0mg/100g for V. Amygdalina, while those of C.olitorius gave 28.2mg/100g and 4.4mg/100g respectively. Blanching at 20°C for 2 minutes yielded a higher amount of Vitamin C when compared to blanching at 100°C and 60°C. The highest loss of 95% was recorded for sundried leaves and stalk of all vegetables analysed. Fridge storage returned a higher amount of vitamin C for S.oleracea at day 1 and the lowest value for C.olitorius for the same day. The implication is that blanching and sundrying were observed not to be suitable as processing methods for vegetables especially in the tropics. Cold storage on the other hand remains a viable option.

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GROWING NIGERIA’S AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (A REVIEW)

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (Recombinant DNA Technology) alongside Nanotechnology are some of the fastest emerging Scientific and Technological revolutions of the twenty first (21st C) century. The fact however remains that Local Agricultural biotechnology as opposed to the recently advanced/current biotechnology has been practiced by various communities all over the world. It is pertinent to note that our ancestors especially in sub-Saharan parts of Africa have utilized one form or the other of crude but ingenious skills and techniques in diverse agricultural/industrial applications. Modern biotechnology as we know or learnt now is nothing but the development of such local or indigenous processes by our ancestors through scientific and technological breakthroughs of our time. Thanks to the discovery of  DNA -the wonder molecule that carries such an enormous unprecedented reservoir of  information in every living organism-whose manipulation gave rise to various organism of interest and contributing to the economies of most Nations. This review is therefore an attempt to reconsider some of our useful local agricultural age long practices with a view to proffering ways of growing them for sustainable national development.


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