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Aim: The study evaluated the chemical contents and antioxidant potential of aqueous extract of Irish potato tubers traditionally used for ulcer treatment in Nigeria.
Methods: Freshly harvested Irish potato tubers were purchased from Aba grocery market, Abia State. They were thoroughly washed in running water, peeled, sliced and dried in an oven at 60ºC to a constant weight. The dried potatoes were milled into fine powder (flour) and extracted using water as the solvent. The proximate, mineral, phytochemical and vitamin contents as well as antioxidant potentials were determined using standard methods.
Results: The results of the proximate analysis showed that the extract contain high percentage of carbohydrate (76.39±4.06%) followed by crude fat (11.43±0.75%) while crude protein (0.82±0.07%) is the least nutritional composition. Magnesium, sodium and iron contents are high in the extract, but calcium and copper were absent. The extract also contain high amounts of phenols (15.54±0.21%), flavonoids (13.03±1.59%), saponins (8.09±0.43%) and alkaloids (4.46±0.91%), but low in antinutrients. Total antioxidant capacity of the extract was 40.16±1.25 mg/AAE/g, with vitamins A, C and E contents being 3.56±0.01 mg/100 g, 61.78±12.48 mg/100 g and 20.39±0.11 µg/100 g respectively.
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that Irish potato tubers have high phytochemical content and possess antioxidant potential substantiating its use traditionally in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
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