Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae family) is a deciduous plant with tuber-like root at the earlier stage. Starch was isolated from the young tuber of the plant and examined instrumentally for its functional groups, X-ray diffractometer (XRD) profile, elemental analysis and antioxidant activities. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis shows that peaks at 3465.23 to 3577.11 cm−1 represent OH stretch of alcohol; 3385.18 cm−1 represents O-H band of carboxylic acid; 3116.11 cm−1 represents =CH stretch of alkenes; 1647.26 cm−1 represents C=C stretch of alkenes and 1023.27 cm−1 represents C-O stretch. The result of elemental analysis revealed that the starch granules contained: Fe (430.19 ppm), Cu (0.055 ppm) and Zn (0.19 ppm). XRD pattern revealed that the starch granules is an amorphous material and contained iron complex (C24H16FeN10). The radical scavenging activity of the plant extract against DPPH (Sigma-Aldrich) was determined by UV-visible spectrophotometer at 517 nm. The result showed higher absorbance of the reaction mixture which indicated lower free radical scavenging activity and the degree of increment in absorbance measurement is indicative of the radical scavenging power of the extract, hence the anti-oxidant capacity and scavenging activity of the starch suspension revealed that it has a very low activity and percentage inhibition when compared with the ascorbic acid standard.
Key words: Moringa oleifera, phytochemical screening, antioxidant activity, X-ray diffractometer.