Elaeagnus umbellata is a deciduous shrub widely distributed in the Himalayan regions of Pakistan. The reddish berries of the plant are edible and very delicious. In the present study, the berries of the plant were investigated for proximate composition, mineral content, physicochemical characteristics, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and selected phytochemicals. The results showed that the fruit of E. umbellatacontained 71.4% moisture, 2.9% ash, 4.0% protein, 2.3% crude fat, 5.9% fiber and 13.6% nitrogen free extract. The nutritive value of the fresh berry was 90.8 kcal/100 g. The berry contained 27.8 mg/100 g of vitamin C. The plant showed striking DPPH scavenging activity and the phytochemical analysis revealed that it contained 23.3, 3.6, 19.9, 126.5, 12.6 and 21.2 mg/g of phenolic, flavonoid, carotenoid, tannin, alkaloid and saponin contents, respectively. In short, this study showed that E. umbellata is a good source of various nutrients and antioxidant compounds, and it can be beneficial to consumer’s health.
Key words: Elaeagnus umbellata, phytochemical composition, proximate analysis, mineral contents, extraction yields, free radical scavenging activity.
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