Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 55-62

First online:

The Indian laburnum (Cassia fistula L.) fruit: an analysis of its chemical constituents

  • N. N. BarthakurAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University-Macdonald Campus
  • , N. P. ArnoldAffiliated withResearch Branch, Experimental Farm, Agriculture Canada
  • , I. AlliAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University-Macdonald Campus

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The edible fruit tissue of Indian laburnum fruit (Cassia fistula L.), a member of the leguminosae family, was analyzed for certain organic compounds and mineral nutrients. Of the nine macro- and micronutrients studied, K was the most highly concentrated such that 100% of the US Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for adults could be met by the consumption of about 100 g of the fresh fruit. Na contents in pulp and seeds are relatively low. Ca content at 827 mg per 100 g of dry matter is one of the highest of any fruits, and could contribute towards the RDA requirement of 800 mg of Ca for adults per day. The fruit is a good source of Fe and Mn, and their concentrations are considerably higher than those found in apple, apricot, peach, pear, and orange. Aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and lysine constituted 15.3, 13.0, and 7.8% of the total amino acids respectively in the pulp. In the seeds the same amino acids constituted, 16.6, 19.5, and 6.6%. The relatively high energy content of the fruit at 18 kJ/g could enhance the daily energy requirement of people in need of adequate caloric intake. The results of the present study demonstrate that the Indian laburnum fruit could be a source of some important nutrients and energy for humans.


Chemical composition Indian laburnum fruit