1.1 Importance of Okra Seeds as a Food Supplement:Okra is an important vegetable crop that is widelyused and cultivated in different regions of World. The seeds of the Okra planthas been found to have the richest part nutritionally. This thesis focuses onthe nutritive value, health benefits and functional properties of Okra Seeds asa Food Supplement.
1.2 Composition of Okra:Many studies indicated that Okra is a good source ofnutrients than that of many other vegetables. 1.3 FATTY ACIDS:Okra seeds are rich in some fatty acids too. Fats orlipids imparts a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fats are a goodsource of energy, that are responsible for regulating body functions in ourbody. 1.
3.1 CLASSIFICATION OF FATTY ACIDS:Two types of fats exists:· Saturated fats· Unsaturated fats (Monounsaturated &Polyunsaturated)· Trans fats1.3.
1.1 SATURATED FATTY ACIDS:When a fatty acid’s carbon chain is completelyfilled with hydrogen atoms, it is known as a saturated fatty acid. These fatsare directly linked with heart diseases, eating large amounts of these fats canlead to an increased risk of heart diseases and high cholesterol level byraising LDL (bad) cholesterol level in blood. These fats are solid at roomtemperature. They are usually present in:· Dairy products· Meat products· Fatty snack foods· Deep fried items· Cakes & pastries etc188.8.131.52 UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS:When a fatty acid’s carbon chain is not completelyfilled with hydrogen atoms, it is known as unsaturated or polyunsaturated fattyacid.
These fats are mostly used in a healthy and balanced diet. Unsaturatedfats help reducing LDL cholesterol level in blood, thus lowering the risk ofchronic diseases. These fats are liquid(oil) at room temperature. There are two main types of unsaturated fats:MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS:They are found in nuts(cashews and almonds), oliveand canola oil.POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS:Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain Omega-3 andOmega-6 fatty acids. Linoleic acid is an example of omega-6 fatty acid.Linoleic acids have been linked with the maintenance of skin & hair growth,stimulation of growth & it supports brain development as well. These fatsare rich in vegetable oils such as bean, nuts and seeds.
TRANS FATTY ACIDS:Trans fatty acids have been linked with increasedlevels of LDL cholesterol & therefore have an increased risk of heartdisease, trans fatty acid may be formed during the manufacturing of margarine& shortening through the process of partial hydrogenation. They are foundin butter and margarines and many packaged foods.Previous studies shows that okra seeds are a hugesource of oil, concentration depend on the method of extraction. The oil mainlyconsists of linoleic acid.
Okra seed oil is a good source of linoleic acid, apolyunsaturated fatty acid essential for good nutrition.ANTIOXIDANT:An antioxidant is an additive that stops or delaysthe rate of oxidation. It is also used to increase the shelf life of a product.
Antioxidants reacts with oxygen containing free radicals and prevent oxidation.These antioxidants may be present naturally in food or can be added as apreservative. Many foods are good sources of antioxidants, okra seeds are oneof them as the source of okra is plant. Researches shows that okra seeds holdsa higher antioxidant /antimicrobial /antifatigue activity as they are rich inmany bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, isoquercitrin & quercitinetc.TYPES OF ANTIOXIDANT:2 major classes of antioxidants are known:· Naturally occurring antioxidants(vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids)· Synthetic antioxidants (BHT, BHA)OXIDATION REACTION:Oxidation process may result in the formation ofmany compounds causing undesirable changes and reduced nutritional value infood products that decreases consumer acceptability regarding foodproduct.
Food spoilage usually occursdue to the oxidation reaction, this can be eliminated or reduced by usingantioxidants. Antioxidants aids against oxidation, a chemical processthat occurs naturally in the presence of oxygen. Oxygen triggers the formationof free radicals, these free radicals may start a chain of damaging chemicalreactions.
FREE RADICALS:Free radicals are group of atoms with an uneven pairof electrons, they can be formed when oxygen interacts with them. Once they areinitiated, these free radicals can start a chain reaction of chemicalreactions. Antioxidants aids in terminating these chemical reactions.VITAMINS:Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed insmall amounts for regulating many functions in body. We have to take vitaminsfrom our diet as our body can’t synthesize them. Vitamins are natural compoundin food in small amount that’s why vitamins are considered as micronutrients.They are essential for our body’s function e.g.
growth, reproduction etc. Okracontain lots of vitamin in a good amount such as vitamin A, vitamin C andvitamin E as described by many researchers.CLASSIFICATION OF VITAMINS:Two major classes of vitamins are known:· Water soluble vitamins (B and C)· Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K)WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS:VITAMIN B:It includes:· B1 (Thiamine)· B2 (Riboflavin)· B3 (Niacin)· B5 (Pantothenic Acid)· B6 (Pyridoxine)· B7 (Biotin)· B9 (Folic Acid)· B12 (Cobalamin)Vitamin B family made up of these 8 classes, theyoften work together in the body. They help the body to perform severalfunctions. They also help in making red blood cells. Folate found in okra helpsreducing neural tube defects.
They are found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs anddairy products.VITAMIN C (Ascorbic Acid): People needto get this vitamin through their diet. Historically, vitamin C was used totreat Scurvy as the deficiency of this vitamin can lead to Scurvy. These days,vitamin C is mostly used for treating common cold, skin infections etc.
It alsoboosts the immune system by acting as an antioxidant. Vitamin C found in okrahelps in repairing the body tissues. Thus, it helps keep your skin younger.Vitamin C commonly found in oranges, guavas, kiwi fruit, broccoli, tomatoes andkale.
Okra seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibre andother nutrients hence, they have huge potential to be used as a supplement forfood industries as it can increase the market value of the product because ofmany health benefits which will be decribed in the next section of theintroduction.