Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 27–34 | Cite as

Nutrient composition and biological evaluation of mesta (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seeds

  • P. Udayasekhara Rao


Two varieties of mesta (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seeds were analysed for their proximate composition. Their protein (18.8–22.3%), fat (19.1–22.8%) and dietary fiber (39.5–42.6%) contents were found to be high. The seeds were found to be a good source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Their lysine and tryptophan contents were also high. Sulphur containing amino acids were limiting in this seed protein and the chemical score of mesta seed protein was 40 and 57 for AMV-2 and Bhimili-1 varieties respectively. Mesta seed oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids (70%), of which linoleic acid constituted 44%. Weanling rats were fed with 10% mesta seed protein before and after cooking for 4 weeks. Food intake of animals receiving raw mesta seed diets was significantly lower than those receiving cooked mesta seed diets as well as the casein control diet. Protein and dry matter digestibilities of raw and cooked mesta seed diets were lower than that of casein control diet. Cooking improved the food intake, gain in body weight, dry matter and protein digestibility of mesta seed diets. PER and NPU of cooked mesta seed diets were significantly higher than the corresponding raw diets. These results indicate that cooked mesta seed protein is of relatively good quality.

Key words

Mesta seeds Hibiscus sabdariffa Chemical composition Amino acid content Protein quality 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Udayasekhara Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of NutritionIndian Council of Medical Research, Jamai Osmania P.O.HyderabadIndia

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