Evaluation of Nutritional, Phytochemical and Antioxidant properties of Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.]

Shivanki Aggarwal, Sheel Sharma


Cited as poor man’s meat, Cowpea [Vignaunguiculata (L.) Walp] is gaining conspicuous recognition as nutraceutical ingredient owing to the presence of an array of phenols and flavonoids, besides being the dietary prowess of traditional nutrients. This study was carried out to evaluate proximate composition, micronutrient content i.e. calcium and iron and antioxidant properties of cowpea. Antioxidant potential of cowpea was endeavoured to be explored in three categories : antioxidant vitamins i.e. vitamin C and β-carotene estimation, phytochemical analysis i.e. total phenols and flavonoids, and antioxidant activity assessment in terms of DPPH (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydracyl) radical scavenging assay, ABTS (2,2'-Azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) radical scavenging assay and FRAP (Ferric reducing antioxidant power) assay. Aqueous-organic (methanol and acetone) extracts of cowpea were prepared for phytochemical and antioxidant analysis. Results reveal cowpea to be an excellent source of protein (23.83%), good source of fibre (3.15%), calcium (67.70mg/100g) and iron (6.76mg/100g). Vitamin C and β-carotene was not found to be in appreciable amounts, which however have a citation to be significantly increased employing household processing methods i.e. germination and fermentation. Cowpea was found to contain phenols (TFC) and flavonoids (TFC) in good amounts, values of TPC and TFC being 135.33 mg GAE/100g and 109.14 mg CE/100g respectively. Also, it demonstrated significant antioxidant activity, values of DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays being 600.87mg TE/100g, 660.12mg TE/100g and 480.30 mg FeSO4/100g respectively. In snapshot, Cowpea is strongly recommended as a dietary repository of protein, dietary fiber, iron, phenols and flavonoids and as effective chorus to mitigate diseases associated with oxidative stress.


cowpea, phenolics, flavonoids, antiradical efficacy

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