Full Length Research Paper
Wild fruits contribute significantly to food security, thus becoming an important global discussion. This study evaluated the physicochemical and nutritional properties of Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels fruits from two microclimates in Kenya as essential contributors to the human diet. Analysis was done using standard methodologies including the use of inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometer for elemental analysis and high-pressure liquid chromatography for the determination of Vitamin C. The T-test showed significant differences in the fruit breadth, pH, total ash, sodium, calcium, manganese, copper, and zinc. The Pearson correlation matrix showed a small positive association between total soluble solids and titratable acidity with altitude, a medium positive correlation with rainfall, and a strong positive correlation between sunshine and skin colour intensity. Larger fruits contained substantial amounts of protein and crude fiber with a significant increase in energy values in fruits with high crude fat and carbohydrates, all correlating positively with the microclimate conditions; altitude, and rainfall. This study exemplifies the potential of Syzygium cumini as an alternative feed supplement to strengthen food security. It provides information on the variation of the physicochemical and nutritional composition of the fruits with climatic conditions, for the industries to employ the best strategies in obtaining marketable products.
Key words: Food security, fruit quality, microclimate, nutritional, physicochemical, Syzygium cumini
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0