EFFECT OF CONTROLLED FERMENTATION USING ASPERGILLUS NIGER AND TRICHODERMA HARZANIUM ON NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF PRE-TREATED BENGAL INDIGO (INDIGOFERA ARRECTA) SEEDS


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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION



The genus Indigofera Linn. is a large genus of about 700 species of flowering plants belonging to the sub-family Papilionoideae in the family Fabaceae / Leguminosae. They occur throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Burkill (1995) recognized 60 species while Soladoye and Lewis (2003) recorded 60 species in Nigeria with over 60% abundance in the Northern region of the country with 27 species distributed across the South Western area of the country. Indigofera in Greek means indigo dye which is famous for the natural blue colors obtained from the leaflets and branches of this herb. The most important of the species are Indigofera arrecta and Indigofera tinctoria.

 
Indigofera spp. display excellent adaptation to a range of environments, and possess diverse morphological and agronomic attributes, significant to their use as forage and cover crops (Hassen et al., 2006). Some of these species, Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa are used to produced indigo dyes while some have medicinal values such as Indigofera articulate used for the treatment of toothache,

Indigofera oblongifolia, Indigofera suffruticosa and Indigofera aspalthoides are used as anti–inflammatories for treatment of insect stings, snake bites and swellings (Shahjahan et al., 2005); and Indigofera arrecta extract is used to relieve ulcer pain.




The stem of Indigofera tinctoria is chewed to cure cough and decoction of leaves is used to cure chest pains, epilepsy, nervous disorders, asthma, bronchitis, fever and complaints of stomach, liver, kidney and spleen- especially in Cameroon (Takawira-Nyenya and Cardon, 2005). The twine paste cures dislocation. Also the warm leaves dismiss bruises (Ibe and Nwufo, 2005). Phytochemical investigation of Indigofera species shows that they are rich in organic and fatty acids, flavonoids such as carotenoids and coumarins (Yinusa et al., 2007).

 
Indigofera arrecta is readily found in abundance in the locality of Samaru- Zaria, Kaduna State and the young leaves are eaten as vegetable. In the northern part of the country among the Hausa, it is called ―Ba-ba‖, in the south-west among the Yoruba, it is known as ―Elu-aja‖ and in eastern part of the country among the Igbos, it is known as ―Uri‖. Indigofera arrecta seeds contain several anti-nutritional factors which limit their consumption and affect the digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Seeds are well known rich sources of minerals but the bioavailability of these minerals is usually low due to the presence of antinutrients and enzyme inhibitors (Valencia et al., 1999). These antinutrients and enzyme inhibitors interfere with absorption of nutrients from foodstuff thus affecting their metabolism. The seed of Indigofera arrecta is known for its hardness which is due to the presence of a hard seed coat which is the seed‘s primary defense against adverse environmental conditions. Seed hardness is the effect of two components: hardness of the seed coat.....

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