This study presents the proximate and mineral composition analysis of Moringa oleifera and Moringa stenopetala leaves collected from two different agro-ecological zones namely Arbaminch Zuria and Konso in Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia. M. oleifera and M. stenopetala leaves were collected using random sampling method from four sampling sites namely Secha, Karat, Sikela, Gato. Before the samples were analyzed, parameters such as temperature, volume of reagents and time until complete digestion were systematically optimized. Analysis of variance was used to compare the proximate and elemental composition of leaf samples as well as mineral composition of soil. The results of this study revealed that, M. oleifera leaf samples from the Secha and Karat sampling sub-sites have shown the average moisture, ash, crude fiber, crude lipid and protein contents of 6.88±0.82, 15.3±1.02, 5.51±0.08, 7.11±0.52, 24.8±1.80% and 6.60±0.79, 15.6±1.11, 6.13±0.22, 7.35±0.48, 24.3±1.73%, respectively. The average moisture, ash, crude fiber, crude lipid and protein contents of 7.92±0.85, 14.9±0.93, 5.03±0.12, 3.65±0.11, 27.3±2.10% and 7.73±0.96, 14.1±0.87, 5.87±0.21, 4.29±0.12, 30.2±2.61% were determined for M. stenopetala leaf samples from the Sikela and Gato, respectively. The contents of the nutrients found in Moringa leaves have shown no significant differences from the two agro-ecological zones except some nutrients (ash, lipid, and protein). The K, Na, Mg, Ca, Mn, Zn, Fe, and Cu concentration determined from Moringa leaf samples from the two agro-ecological zones was ranged between 9570-14047, 1287-1298, 4273-4550, 18230-19026, 72.4-87.5, 21.3-57.6, 80.1-82.3 and 3.43-5.10 mg/Kg, respectively. The comparison of mean values of macro and micro nutrient of Moringa leaves and soils showed no significant difference between the two agro-ecological zones except some metals such as K, Zn and Cu. The present analysis revealed that Moringa leaves contained considerable amount of nutrients and hence used as food supplement for the community.
Key words: Nutritional compositions, elemental composition, Moringa species, agro-ecological zones, proximate analysis.
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