The proximate composition and phytochemical screening of Momordica Balsamina (balsam apple) fruit and leaves




Momordica balsamina, malnutrition, nutrients, proximate composition, bioactive compounds


Malnutrition is a global issue that affects both children and adults irrespective of their socio-economic status. It is therefore important to find various means to tackle malnutrition. This is especially important as undernutrition and overnutrition can be linked to a variety of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Therefore, this study aimed to gather more insight into the nutritional and phytochemical quality of Momordica balsamina leaves and fruit (fruit pericarp, fruit flesh and seeds). The results showed that M. balsamina had a nutritional composition that would be advantageous to the human diet. The nutritional quality was verified by the presence of a high protein percentage across all samples (19.72–29.08%), with the leaves containing the highest protein content (29.08% ± 0.77). There was also a low-fat content present across all samples which ranged from 1.03% to 2.40%. The ash content indicated the presence of total minerals to be adequate (2.93–21.16%), where the pericarp had the highest ash quantity (21.16% ± 0.09). Overall, the moisture levels were low (7.11–13.40%); with M. balsamina seeds containing the highest carbohydrate content (67.84% ± 0.30).

 Moreover, rich in the major phytoconstituents, M. balsamina extracts were found to contain alkaloids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, steroids and triterpenoids. Based on these findings, it can be deduced that the incorporation of M. balsamina into an individual’s diet could prevent diseases associated with malnutrition and could be used to supplement the human diet in managing certain NCDs.


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Como Citar

JAICHAND, V., MELLEM, J. J., & MOHANLALL, V. (2024). The proximate composition and phytochemical screening of Momordica Balsamina (balsam apple) fruit and leaves. Food Science and Technology, 44.



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