Evaluation of selected invasive alien species via bioprospecting as potential sources of food supplements.
The purpose of the present work was to evaluate the proximate composition, minerals content (Na, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, Mn, Mg and Zn), simultaneous quantification of water soluble vitamins (ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and folic acid) by HPLC of five different invasive alien species (IAS) viz. Alternanthera paronychioides, Cleome rutidosperma, Mikania micrantha, Pilea microphylla and Scoparia dulcis. The results showed the highest calorific value of C. rutidosperma (124.22±0.58 kcal/100 g) which was also found to contain highest amount of crude protein (15.80±0.12%). An appreciable quantity of carbohydrate was estimated in the leaves of S. dulcis (13.91±0.13%) and A. paronychioides (13.61±0.22%). A. paronychioides had the highest potassium content (3.92±0.003 mg/g) and calcium content (5.90±0.01 mg/g). The sodium content ranged between 0.071-0.125 mg/g. The leaves of M. micrantha (152.25±0.03 mg/100 g) contained a very good amount of vitamin C. The water soluble B vitamin content in these plants under investigation ranged between 0.014 to 2.457 mg/100 g. The results indicate that these invasive alien species can be utilized as food supplement.