Nutritional aspects of Egusi Melon – Citrullus colocynthis l.
Abstract, Asian Journal of Science and Technology, 2014 March
Egusi melon is an annual herbaceous, monoecous plant which is grown mostly in tropical regions. It is up to 28% protein and 35% fats, with about 72% by weight unsaturated fatty acids, and 57.4% of it being polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). PUFAs being essential fatty acids must be provided in the diet and egusi melon serves as a rich source. Egusi melon oil contains nutritionally good amounts of linoleic acid and other essential fatty acids which have protective effect against coronary heart disease and also aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Egusi is a good source of protein, with up to 17 amino acids, 9 of which are essential, and contains vitamins B1, B2, niacin, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. These are very essential requirements by the body for optimum health, as they have varied synergistic functions. This food plant being found as a rich source of protein, essential fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids is hereby discussed.