In this study, proximate composition, physical characteristics and mineral content of fruit, pulp and seeds of Parinari curatellifolia (Maula) fruits from Bunda forests in Central Malawi were determined. Proximate composition included crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber, while physical characteristics included mass, length, thickness of whole fruit and kernels and minerals included potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and phosphorus. Total carbohydrate contents were also determined. All the results have been presented on dry matter basis. Results on crude protein ranged from 3.9±0.03 to 15.61±0.05% with pulp registering the lowest values (P<0.05) while the highest values were registered in kernels. Results on crude fat revealed that kernels had the highest values (46.05±0.19%) compared to values obtained in pulp or a mixture of pulp and peels while for crude fiber, the highest values (21.39±0.28%) were obtained in whole fruit. Furthermore, results on ash content showed that the highest values (5.71±0.25 %) were obtained in fruit peels while the lowest values (1.58±0.15 %) were registered in whole fruit. Lastly, results on carbohydrate content revealed that the highest values (84.95±0.14%) were obtained in the pulp while the lowest values (34.34±0.21%) were registered in kernels. The findings from this study have shown that there are significant differences in nutrient and mineral composition in the whole fruit, seeds and pulp of P. curatellifolia from Central Malawi and therefore these findings can be useful in nutritional planning regarding consumption of the P. curatellifolia fruit.
Key words: Maula (Parinari curatellifolia), indigenous fruits, kernels, minerals, crude protein, nutrition, Bunda forest.
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