Balanites aegyptiaca, a forest species of socio-economic interest for rural people, was chosen to be planted in the frame-work of the Great Green Wall project in Senegal. Although in vastly demand during food scarcity period before crops harvest, the species’ fruit is poorly valued despite its important production. In this study, the fruit pulps were harvested at maturity and the biochemical characteristics were accessed in order to better understand the fruit’s nutritional value. The moisture, sugars, proteins, amino acids, ash, fat, minerals and some vitamins were determined by standard methods of analysis. The results indicated that the fruits are a good alimentary source of sugar, minerals (mainly potassium) and ascorbic acid. The pulp proteins were qualitatively balanced, but were present only in weak quantities. Its caloric value is high due to the high concentration of sugars. Low humidity should allow a fairly good postharvest fruit conservation. The dietary intake of this fruit for local people is very valuable especially in terms of nutrition.
Key words: Balanites aegyptiaca, pulp, biochemical, nutritional value.
Abbreviations: AFNOR, Association Française de Normalisation; CNRS, Centre national de la recherche scientifique; CREDOC, Centre de recherche pour l’étude et l’observation des conditions de vie; DM, dry mater; INEE, Institut écologie et environnement; OHMi, Observatoire Homme Milieu (monitoring center man-environment).
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