Moringa oleifera is an edible medicinal plant used to fight malnutrition in Africa. In this study, M. oleifera flowers, fruits and seeds from Guinea-Bissau were characterized for their nutritional composition and hydroethanolic and aqueous extracts were prepared to investigate the phenolic profiles and bioactivities. Seeds presented higher levels of proteins (~31 g/100 g dw), fat (~26 g/100 g dw) and flavan-3-ol derivatives, while carbohydrates, proteins, citric acid, and glycosylated flavonoids were abundant in fruits and flowers, these last samples also being rich in α-tocopherol (~18 mg/100 g dw). Some of the identified polyphenols had never been described in M. oleifera. In general, hydroethanolic extracts contained more polyphenols and were more active against lipid peroxidation, NO production, and tumour cells growth. Significant antimicrobial effects against the tested bacteria and fungi strains were displayed by both hydroethanolic and aqueous extracts. The M. oleifera potential to fight malnutrition and health issues was highlighted.
- Antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity
- Famine food
- Moringa oleifera
- Nutritional composition
- Phenolic profile