Nutritional and anti-nutrient profiles of some Ghanaian spices.
Spices are generally consumed because of the taste and flavor they add to food. Some are also consumed because of their medicinal properties. We herein report on the nutrient and antinutrient compositions of five Ghanaian spices namely Xylopia aethiopica, Piper guineense, Monodora myristica, Aframomum melegueta and Parkia biglobosa. Nutritional composition was assessed by proximate analysis, minerals by atomic absorption spectrophotometry while titrimetric methods were utilized in vitamin C and antinutrients analysis. P. biglobosa was rich in proteins (38.60%) and had highest moisture content (32.79%). The highest levels of ash, fiber, fat and carbohydrates were observed P. guineense (11.90%), A. melegueta (31.12%), M. myristica (31.01%) and X. aethiopica (50.1%) respectively. Calorific values for all spices were between 243 and 402 kcal. Calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron were the most abundant minerals with levels ranging from 2.67 to 5,381.88 mg/kg. Zinc, copper and manganese were present in trace amounts. Vitamin C levels ranged from 3.3 to 18.4 mg/100 g. Phytates were present at generally higher levels than oxalates. P. biglobosa and X. aethiopica contained the highest concentration of oxalates and phytates respectively. The results indicate that these spices are good sources of valuable nutrients. However, the high levels of antinutrients implies consumption in moderation and good processing before eating is important.