Proximate, nutraceutical composition and antimicrobial activities of Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds and oil

Ogbuanu C.C.*1, Nwagu L.N.1, Ezeh, C.N.2, Achara, N.I.3, Onwuatuegwu, J.T.C.4

1Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences, P.M.B. 01660, Enugu, Nigeria

2University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Centre for Environmental Management and Control

3Department of Biohemistry, Tansian University, Umunya

4Department of Microbiology, Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State, Nigeria.


The study investigated proximate, nutraceutical composition and Antimicrobial activities of Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds. Standard methods were used to analyze the plant seeds for the present of nutraceutical and proximate component of the plant Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds. While disk diffusion method was employed to assay the the potent of the seed oil as an antimicrobial agent. Result of the proximate revealed that Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds contains ash (10.19 %), moisture (5.2 %), crude protein (0.09 %), crude fiber (51.81 %), total fat (26.19 %) and carbohydrate (6.52 %). While nutraceutical study showed that Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds contains cardiac glycosides (0.046 %), tannins (0.2 %), saponins (0.01 %) and alkaloids (0.45 %).The proximate result implies that the plant contains essential component such as crude fiber, total fat and ash in significant quantities, and can be utilized as food and in treating several ailments.  The presences of alkaloids, tannins, Cardiac glycoside, and saponins in the plant seed indicate it can be used as a medicinal source. The oil presented no antimicrobial and antibiotic activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi. The results suggest that Uvaria chamae seed have a potential role as a new source of health-promoting diets (can be used as a dietary fiber supplement in obesity management) with high oxidative stability. And the oil is a fixed oil that could be an acceptable substitute for cooking vegetable oil that do not have antimicrobial/antibiotic activities.

Keywords: Proximate; nutraceutical; fiber; alkaloids; tannins


Plants offer a large range of Phytochemical natural chemical compounds belonging to different molecular families which have various properties to humans as therapeutic agents that reduce the risk of cancer due to dietary fibers, polyphenol, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects [1]; [2].  The well-recognized father of modern medicine, Hippocrates (460-377 BC), stated “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” to predict the relationship between appropriate foods for health and their therapeutic benefits. Today phytochemicals (non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventative properties) in foods have been identified and new discoveries are being made surrounding the complex benefits of phytochemicals. A combination of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical,” the term nutraceutical was coined by combining the terms “Nutrition” and “Pharmaceutical” in 1989 by Dr Stephen DeFelice, Chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, encompasses foods or food products that claim to prevent/ treat various ailments ranging from heart diseases to cancer, improve health, delay the aging process, and/or increase life expectancy [3]. Edible seed foods can be classified based on the amount of nutrients and the type of nutrients they provide for subsistence and survival and are composed of macronutrients or nutrients that are needed in large quantities (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, and water) and micronutrients or nutrients that are needed in small amount (include vitamins and minerals) in varying proportions which is essential for and nutritionally important [4]; [5], [6]; [7]. Plants capture and utilize solar energy by means of photosynthesis, thereby storing carbohydrates which serve as source of energy [8] with fiber and water, while fatty acids and proteinscan also serve as energy sources when they are funneled through appropriate enzymatic pathways [9]. Thus, these products serve as a source of two types of energy which can be expressed as calories. The first energy being heat which serve to maintain the body temperature. The second is free energy, which is available for work [10]. Complex macromolecule polymers of amino acids (protein) joined in peptide linkage that is very important for growth, development and maintenance that compose of 50 % of dry weight of living cells called protein that bind to other selected molecules and how their activity depends on such binding [9]; [11]. Plant fats and oils is an energy storing molecules and most important kind of lipid. They function as a structural component of membranes, aid in transportation of fat-soluble nutrients that are important for good health and as a storage form of metabolic fuel [12]; [13].

Carbohydrate nutrient are mainly derived from plants and they are polyhydroxy aldehyde or ketone or substances that yield such compounds on hydrolysis. Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose or blood sugar that is the main source of energy for your body’s cells, tissues, and organs [14]. The primary function of the carbohydrates in living organisms is as an energy source. Many of them are easily digested by animals where they are converted back into carbon dioxide and water, with a concurrent release of energy [4]; [15]. Fiber is mainly a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest but keep the digestive system healthy. A diet high in especially fiber, can help solve constipation, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and more [16]; [17]; [18]; [19]; [20]; [21]. Fiber can help burn down trouble and stubborn fat in the body. As such fiber can help combat weight gain and keep the weight off essential for a long healthy life [22]. As a universal solvent, the moisture content (water) from food material plays an important role in living systems. It is an indispensable nutrient and involved in the metabolism of a food digestion, elimination of body wastes, transportation of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, secretion of enzymes, hormones, lubricates the joints and tissues, maintains healthy skin, and for proper digestion and other biochemical activities [23]; [24]; [25]; [26]; [27]. Edible seeds are important sources of nutrients and energy especially among the resource-poor populations where protein- energy malnutrition (PEM) has continued to hamper optimal growth and development [28]; [29] and can sustain livestock production by ensuring the availability of various sources of nutrients that are required for the formulation of animal feed [30]. Seed oils which are mainly triacylglycerols have range of physical and chemical compositional parameters that determine its applications [31]; [32]. The little or no information on the composition and utilization of the many and varied lesser seed oils indigenous to the tropics are more of problem than the real shortage of oils [33].


Evidence from the study clearly indicated that Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds have some potential medicinal properties (alkaloid, tannins, saponin and cardiac glycoside). This phytochemical   and other founds in the plant makes the Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds a potential medicinal plant. The fiber and oil content are significant and hence, it can be accepted that the plant seed can be harnessed for nutrition, obesity management and industrial purposes. The results of the present investigation clearly demonstrate that the oil of Uvaria chamea seeds have no activity against the two test organisms (S. aureus and E. coli) respectively. This work justifies the standard antibiotics have potent against the two test organisms (S. aureus and S. typhi) respectively with exception of ampiclox, ampicillin, septrin and gentamycin that have no potent against gram positive bacteria’s, while for gram negative bacteria’s only ampicillin and augmentin that have no potent. 

Suggestion for further study

Study should be carried out on the effect of Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds oil for human consumption.


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CITE AS: Ogbuanu C.C., Nwagu L.N., Ezeh, C.N., Achara, N.I., Onwuatuegwu, J.T.C. (2023). Proximate, nutraceutical composition and antimicrobial activities of Uvaria chamea (Udagu) seeds and oil. NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC AND EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES, 4(3): 1-10.