African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Full Length Research Paper

Proximate, physical and chemical composition of leaves and seeds of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) from Central Malawi: A potential for increasing animal food supply in the 21st century

Lesten Eliez Chisomo Chatepa
  • Lesten Eliez Chisomo Chatepa
  • Basic Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bunda Campus, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Emmanuel Chidiwa Mbewe
  • Emmanuel Chidiwa Mbewe
  • Crop and Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bunda Campus, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 September 2018
  •  Accepted: 18 October 2018
  •  Published: 20 December 2018


The nutritive composition of Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam) leaves and seeds were evaluated for their possible inclusion in livestock feed formulation because of the limited availability of conventional protein concentrates like soybean (Glycine max) seeds. Moringa seeds contained 50.70 g kernels and 19.03 g hulls per 100 seeds representing 72.71 and 27.29% as a fraction of the whole seed, respectively. The 100 seeds contained 28.48 and 20.71% oil as a fraction of kernels and seeds, respectively. Moringa leaves had 22.60±0.17% crude protein, 11.24±0.17% ash, 13.40± 0.25% crude fat, 8.07±0.17% crude fiber and 44.69±0.41% carbohydrates. The seeds revealed 28.56±0.41% crude protein, 5.37±0.11% ash, 34.92±0.17% crude fat, 7.90±0.27% crude fiber and 23.27±0.65% carbohydrates. Raw kernel recorded 37.86±0.38% crude protein, 4.60±0.13% ash, 41.18±0.06%  crude fat, 4.80±0.23% crude fiber and 11.55±0.37% carbohydrate whereas roasted kernel registered 38.25±0.32% crude protein, 5.36±0.19% ash, 41.06±0.14% crude fat, 6.55±0.34% crude fiber and 8.78±0.60% carbohydrate. Raw kernel meal registered the highest calculated gross energy of 5.6±0.0 Mcal/kg DM and metabolisable energy of 4.4±0.0  Mcal/kg DM, compared to seed and leaves meals. The calculated fatty acid (g/kg DM) was the highest (329.5±0.5) in raw kernel compared to 107.2±2.0 in leaves, 279.3±1.4 in seed and 328.5±1.1 in roasted kernel meal. Titratable acidity (as oleic acid) ranged from 0.36±0.0 at pH 6.42±0.0 to 3.8±0.0 at pH 6.35±0.0 for raw kernel and leaves meal, respectively. Phosphorus concentration (mg/100 g DM) ranged from 427.6±0.0 to 873.9±0.0 for leaves and raw kernel meals. This research indicated that both seeds and leaves are rich in nutrients and could be potential replacements of conventional livestock feed ingredients to ease the feed/food crises in Malawi.

Key words: Moringa (Moringa oleifera), raw kernel, roasted kernel, crude protein, livestock production, Malawi.