Vitamin C content of commonly eaten green leafy vegetables in fresh and under different storage conditions
Umaramani Mathiventhan* and Sivakanesan Ramiah
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Abstract: This study was an attempt to determine the consumption of popular green leafy vegetables (GLVs) available in Batticaloa district, Sri Lanka and to determine vitamin C content of fresh and stored (under room temperature 30±2ºC and at 4ºC for 4 days) GLVs. Vitamin C content was estimated in aqueous extracts using dichloroindophenol titrimetric method. Thirty one species of GLVs were consumed commonly by the subjects with an average consumption of 59%. Vitamin C content of fresh GLVs ranged from 5.25 mg/100 g for Centella asiatica to 433.13 mg/100 g wet weight for Drgea volubilis. Drgea volubilis, which had the highest amount of vitamin C, is consumed by 80% of the consumers followed by Delonix elata, which is consumed by 52% of the consumers interviewed. Murraya koenigii, which is used by almost all the consumers interviewed, is a poor source of vitamin C. Similarly Centella asiatica, which was claimed to be consumed by 90% of the consumers, too was a poor source of vitamin C. The decline in vitamin C content of all GLVs, ranging from 18% for Aerva lanata to 100% for Moringa oleifera, was higher and significant (p = 0.000 at 95% confident interval) when stored at room temperature for 4 days than stored at 4ºC (ranging from 2.5% for Sauropus androgynus to 70% for Alternanthera sessilis) except Pisonia grandis. Both Drega volubilis and Delonix elata showed 22.3 and 6.1% increase in vitamin C content respectively when stored at 4ºC.