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The Nutritional Contents of Coccinia grandis and Its Evaluation as a Wild Vegetable

XU You-Kai,LIU Hong-Mao,DAO Xiang-Sheng(Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Mengla 666303,China)  
Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt (Cucurbitaceae) distributed naturally in Yunnan, Guanxi, Guangdong and Hainan provinces of southern China, tropical Asian, India, Australia and Africa.Its tender leaves and stems is used as a valuable wild vegetable by indigenous people of Southeast Asia and India. The nutritional contents including mineral elements,protein,amino acids and vitamins of the fresh tender leaves and stems,were compared with Apium graveolens,Asparagus officinalis,Brasenia schreberi,Glycine max,Ipomoea aquatica,Kalimeris indica and Lactuca sativa var.lonifolia.The results demonstrated that the content of mineral elements of C.grandis is the highest in potassium (K),phosphorous (P)(except A.graveolens);iron (Fe),magnesium (Mg) (except I.aquatica),zinc(Zn) and selenium (Se).The content of vitamins in tender leaves of C.grandis is the highest in thiamine,riboflavin and niacin.Taking the egg protein as standard protein and WHO/FAO reference model of essential amino acid (EAA) as an appraisal criterion,the protein of C.grandis was compared with those of the 7 vegetables,by means of fuzzy discrimination and the method of ratio coefficient of amino acid respectively.The results indicated that the protein content of C.grandis reaches up to 2.1% (in fresh).Its gross protein is rich in all kind of amino acid, which accounts for 93.8%.EAA take up 42% of total amino acid.The first limiting amino acid is sulfur-containing amino acid,Met and Cys.The close degree of the protein in C.grandis is 0.8070 in comparison with that of egg and its score of ratio coefficient of amino acid is 71.946.Undoubtedly the protein quality of C.grandis is far superior to that of the 7 vegetables.
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