Thursday, 24 March 2011

Amaranthus spp in Orissa.

Green leafy vegetables constitute an indispensable constituent of a human diet in India in general and Orissa in is hoped that more than 50 species of green leafy vegetables are consumed in alone by rural and tribes of Orissa.The analysis of nutritional value of wild plant materials attracted attention due to the fact that they contain significant amount of essential nutrients that can be used for both human consumption and in the formulation of animal feeds.Amaranthus belongs to nutritious class of pseudocerals. The well balanced amino acid composition of Amaranthus compared with those of major cereals would indicate that it deserves a quantitative study of its chemical properties.(Research article of the Hebrew University, 1998) . In Orissa , there are many tribes leaving in the district of Sundargarh, Koraput, Malkangiri,Mayurbhang, Simlipal biosphere reserve forest,Niyamgiri hills etc, consume more amount of wild variety of Amaranthus species, which are common among their food.A.spinosus and A.viridis are common wild variety in orissa, but there are many  cultivated varieties such as A.tricolor, A.caudatus,A.cruentus etc.
Fig :- Amaranthus spp.
Market value In Orissa :-
Orissa has about 62 scheduled tribes and sub-tribes according to Das et al , 2003, who consume Amaranthus spp as a leafy vegetables. for the marketing purpose the common amaranthus species are A.caudatus, A.viridis among tribal groups and their traditional weekly market,A.cruentus etc.
Amaranthus : rich in minerals :-
Amaranthus as a leafy vegetables , rich in minerals and vitamins.It is common and popular leafy vegetables in Orissa. A variety of dishes are made in Orissa, it is marketed in a wide range of colours from light green to dark red. the leaves are rich in vitamin A, and fair content of vitamin B1 and vitamin C also rich in lycine and methionine(Dhellot et al,2006).according to dhellot et al,2006, the mineral composition of Amaranthus hybridus are as follow :-

Mineral element           Composition (mg/100 g)
sodium                         7.43
Potassium                     54.20
Calcium                        44.15
magnesium                    231.22
iron                               13.58

According to Rao & Newmark,1998, Amaranthus species have been shown to contain large amount of sequence of amino acid and essential, compounds that has both health and industrial benefits. Jale et al,1999, mentioned that grain amaranthus can used as a partial substitute for barley in diets fermented in artificial rum.

Sanjeet Kumar
Research trainee
Regional Plant Resource Centre, Bhubaneswar.