Enset (Ensete ventricosum) is a drought tolerant crop, traditionally grown in Ethiopia. It has many usages: food, fodder, fibres and traditional medicine. Being perennial, enset improves local climate and soil conditions. It could contribute to improved food security in several drought-prone parts of the world. The aims of this study were to reveal the amino acids of enset corm, which can be cooked as a root crop, and to increase the general knowledge regarding chemical composition and energy values of different enset fractions. Water content was high, 85 to 90%, which is beneficial when used as fodder during dry periods. Enset corm contained 17 of 20 amino acids and had similar or higher concentration than potato of 12 of these. Leaves had 13% protein, among the highest available in Ethiopia, 20% crude fibre and 10% sugar; a good fodder and suitable for ensilage. The pseudostem, the main food source, was rich in soluble carbohydrates (80%) and starch (65%), but had low protein content (4%). An enset based diet should be supplemented with protein and complementary amino acids; for example from beans, which are suitable to intercrop with enset.
Key words: Amino acids, corm, Ensete ventricosum, Ethiopia, Kocho, pseudo stem, root crop.
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