African locust bean (Parkia filicoidea Welw.)
The African locust bean is a tree legume found all over West Africa, southeast Asia, and tropical South America. It is a medium-sized tree found in open savanna woodlands where it may stand as the only tree species in a location, and characterized by its fruits, which are elongated pods, 5–11 inches long, and found in clusters. The immature fruit is green, assuming a brown colour as it matures. The mature pod is made up of a husk which encloses a powdery yellow material in which are embedded dark brown seeds. Seeds comprise about 25.4% of the weight of the dry pod. The whole fruit contains on a dry matter basis 12.7% protein, 6.8% fat, 6.2% ash and 18% fibre. The mature seed contains about 30% digestible carbohydrates (starch and sugars), 30% protein, 20% fat, 9% crude fibre and 5% minerals. Not only is the fat content higher than in most grain legumes, it is made up predominantly of unsaturated fatty acids (54% of total fatty acids). The unsaturated fatty acids are linoleic acid (42.5% of total, oleic acid (8.8% of total) and palmitoleic acid (2.7% of total). The saturated fatty acids which contribute 46% of total fatty acids, comprise palmitic acid (31% of total), stearic acid (7.7% of total), arachidic acid (4.2% of total) and behenic acid (3.1% of total).
KeywordsPhytic Acid Arachidic Acid Behenic Acid Digestible Carbohydrate Isoleucine Leucine
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