Keywords: neutron activation analysis, trace elements, dawadawa, food condiments, alkaline fermentation, Africa, medicinal applications, nutritional applications
Determination of trace elements composition in dawadawa, a food condiment used in West and Central Africa
Dawadawa, obtained by alkaline fermentation of the matured dawadawa pod, is a culinary product used to enhance taste, flavour and intensify meatiness in soups, sauces and other dishes in West and Central Africa. It is believed to cure cholera, stomachache, diarrhea, bronchitis, pneumonia, leprosy, hypertension, and pain in the bones. The trace element contents of the fermented dawadawa pods were determined by neutron activation analysis to better appreciate their medicinal and nutritional applications. Results obtained showed the presence of Na, Mn, Al, Cl, Ca, K, Cu and Mg with maximum concentration of Na found to be 37.9 ± 0.6 mg/kg in dp3, Mn; 19.5 ± 2.9 mg/kg in dp2, Al; 493 ± 3.9 mg/kg in ds1, Cl; 1074 ± 36.3 mg/kg in ds2, Cu; 6.2 ± 0.5 mg/kg in dp4, Ca; 0.90 ± 0.04 wt.% in dp2, K; 2 ± 0.02 wt.% in ds2, Mg; 0.44 ± 0.03 wt. % in ds1.