Written Paper

The anti-anaemic properties of Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata)  [2006]

Kheiri, N.A., Food d Processing Research Centre, Shambat, Khartoum (Sudan) Sharfi, I.Y., University of Khartoum, Khartoum (Sudan). Faculty of Agriculture

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Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata) known locally as gonglase is a popular wild fruit indigenous to Sudan with an edible pulp. The pulp is rich in vitamin C and a good source of iron. This study was carried out to detennine the effect of its intake on non-haem iron absorption. It was conducted at Hag El Safi Hospital, Khartoum North, on 32 pregnant women who suffered from iron deficiency anaemia (lDA) and received ferrous supplement. These women were divided into 4 equal groups, 3 of these received baobab fruit pulp daily for 6 weeks. Group I received 100 g. (270 mg. Vitamin C), Group II 80 g. (216 mg. Vitamin C) and group ill 60 g. (162 mg. Vitamin C). Group IV was the control group. Blood was analyzed for haemoglobin (Hb), Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and serum ferritin for the 4 groups. Group I showed a significant increase ~0.05) in Hb and PCV after the first week. Group II showed a significant increase (P:S0.05) in Hb after the third week and PCV after the second week. Group III showed a significant increase (P:S0.05) in Hb and PCV values after the sixth week. All serum ferritin values for the three groups showed a significant increase (P:::;0.05) after the sixth week. The control group did not show any significant increase in values of the above parameters. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by the four groups (24 hour recall) was 20.2 and 29.0% respectively. Baobab juice was therefore the major source of vitamin C for the 3 groups who received it.
Thus baobab fruit pulp has anti-anaemic properties due to its high vitamin C content hence recommended for pregnant women as well as to those suffering from lDA

From the journal

FRC Journal of Food Science and Technology (Sudan)