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Phytochemical and Proximate Analysis of Garlic (Allium Sativum) Bulbs

Phytochemical and Proximate Analysis of Garlic (Allium Sativum) Bulbs

 

 ABSTRACT

Qualitative phytochemical screening, quantitative phytochemical analysis and proximate composition of garlic bulbs (Allium sativum) were determined with a view to assessing its nutritional and medicinal values. The results of phytochemical screening showed that Alkaloids and steroids were present in very high amount (+++) in the aqueous extract while tannins, glycosides, anthraquinones, terpenoids and flavonoids were present in moderate amounts (++) both in the aqueous and ethyl acetate extracts. Saponins was found in small amount in the aqueous extract while anthraquinones, leucoanthocyanins were absent in both the aqueous and ethanol extracts but were found in small amount in the ethyl acetate extract. Coumarin was found only in the ethanol extract. The results of the quantitative phytochemical analysis revealed that that flavonoid composition (5.36 %) was highest followed by saponin (4.10 %) while the composition of tannin was the least (0.107 %). The results of the proximate analysis showed that the bulbs of Allium sativum contain 65. 014 % moisture, 15.056 % carbohydrate, 4.12 % ash, 3.10 % crude fibre, 8.58 % protein and 0.38 % crude fat. The results of proximate analysis revealed that Allium sativum is rich in carbohydrate but low in crude fat contents. The phytochemical screening result revealed that Allium sativum bulbs have good secondary plants metabolites which justify its therapeutic utility.  The high percentage of flavonoid found in the garlic bulbs substantiates the hot sensation and odour of raw garlic. The high percentage of carbohydrate found in the garlic bulbs validates the high calorie of energy derivable from garlic consumption. 

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Plants have long been serving mankind as sources of useful drugs, food, additives, flavouring agents, colourants, binders and lubricants (Falodun, Okunrobo and Uzoamaka 2006). Chemical substances found in plants include alkaloids, glycosides, essential oil, saponins, tannins, steroids, terpenoids, resins, flavonoids, proteins and others. These substances are potent bioactive compounds found in medicinal plant parts that can be used for therapeutic purposes (Nwadiaro and Nwachukwu, 2007). These inherent bioactive compounds differ from plant to plant as a result of their biodiversity and they produce a definite physiological effect on human body. Several researchers have screened different medicinal plants for the presence of these active compounds which have established a good support to the use of these plants in herbal medicine and as base for the development of new drugs and phytomedicine (UNESCO, 2008).

Garlic (Allium sativum) is an important spice crop and widely cultivated herbal plant belonging to the family Alliaceae along with onion and others. Garlic is believed to have originated from Central Asia from where it spread to other parts of the world through trade and colonization with China being the current world largest producer of garlic (FAO, 2001).  When fully grown, garlic reaches 40-60 cm tall with flat and very slender leaves. Garlic bulbs consist of small bulbils, commonly called cloves (Milner, 2005). The pungent flavour makes it used mainly as a spice, seasoning and flavouring for foodstuffs.  Its folk medicinal value is also recognised in the treatment of hypertension, worms, germs, bacterial and fungal diseases, diabetes, cancer, whooping cough, lung diseases, stomach complaints (as healing of ulcers of the intestines) and rheumatism (Brewster, 1994). The most active components of fresh garlic are alliin and an enzyme called allinase. When garlic is chewed, chopped, bruised or cut, these compounds mix to form allicin, which is responsible for garlic’s strong smell.

The phytochemicals of garlic have long been known and its antibacterial properties have been widely reported (Roy et al., 2006). The antimicrobial activity of extracts of garlic has long been linked to the presence of some bioactive compounds. These secondary metabolites also serve to protect the plants themselves against bacterial, fungal and viral infections (El-Mahmood and Amey, 2007). These bioactive compounds are known to work synergistically to produce various effects on the human and animal subjects (Amagase, 2006). Initial reports of antimicrobial activity of garlic showed that allicin a notable flavonoid in garlic is formed when garlic cloves are crushed (Ross et al., 2000). Allicin formation follows the action of an enzyme, allinase of the bundle sheet cells upon the alliin of the mesophyll cells. When crushed, Allium sativum yields allicin, a powerful antibiotic and antifungal compound (phytoncide).  However, due to poor bioavailability, it is of limited use for oral consumption. Garlic also contains some sulphur-containing compounds such as alliin, ajoene, diallylsulphide, dithin, S-allylcysteine, enzymes and other non sulphur-containing compounds including vitamin B, proteins, minerals, saponins and flavonoids (Johnson et al., 2008).

Garlic has been used to treat many conditions. The root bulb of garlic has been used traditionally for thousands of years to treat many disease conditions. The root bulb of garlic has a high concentration of sulphur containing compounds among which allicin appears to be among the most active compounds (Tattelman, 2005). The elucidation of the chemical structures of some of these compounds has led to the synthesis and production of more potent and safer drugs (Bhattacharjee et al., 2005). In view of the above, this work therefore focused on the proximate analysis and phytochemical analysis of extracts of dried and crushed garlic bulbs.

1.2       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to carry out proximate analysis and also screen for the various phytochemicals present in methanol and hot water extracts of dried and crushed garlic bulbs.

The specific objectives includes to:

(i)        Prepare different extracts of the dried and ground garlic bulbs samples which were bought from Abakpa main market, Abakaliki.

(ii)       Carry out qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analysis of the extracts using standard chemical methods.

(iii)      Determine the proximate value of the dried and ground garlic bulbs using standard methods.

1.3       Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of this work covered sampling, peeling, washing and oven drying of garlic bulbs, preparation of the various extracts of the bulbs and subsequent qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analysis of the extracts. Also carried out in this work is the proximate analysis of the garlic bulbs. However, due to time and resource constraints, this work could not determine the mineral contents of the garlic bulbs which would have supported the full evaluation the medicinal properties of the garlic bulbs.

 

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