Chemical / Mineral Compositions Of Water Extracts Of Hibiscus Sadariffa

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Chemical / Mineral Compositions Of Water Extracts Of Hibiscus Sadariffa


This work was carried out to investigate the chemical properties of the water extract of zobo (Hibiscus sabdariffa) drink using the modern atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Zobo drink is a popular drink in the Nigeria, especially in the northern part of Nigeria. The result of the analysis indicated that the drink is high in vital mineral nutrients required for the healthy growth by humans and for the proper metabolic processes to be adequately maintained. Zobo drink is high, as indicated in the result, in iron – a major component of the human haemoglobin, when compared with other leaf like the popular vegetable leaf known as awa (Piper methysticum).

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Toward the end of the 20th century epidemiological studies and associated meta-analyses suggested strongly that long-term consumption of diets rich in plant foods offered some protection against chronic diseases, especially cancer (Wallstromet al., 2000).Because uncontrolled production of free radicals was thought to be significantly implicated in the etiology of cancer (Guyton and Kensler 1993),these observations focused attention on the possible role of radical scavenging and radical suppressing nutrients and non-nutrients in explaining the apparent benefit of such diets (Weisburger, 1991).

The realization that free radicals were similarly implicated in the etiology of many other chronic diseases (Kehrer, 1993 and Stohs, 1995), immediately focused attention on flavonoids and the foods and beverages rich therein. An unfortunate, but unintended side effect of some research works and papers was the misleading tendency of many investigators to think of dietary phenols, polyphenols, and tannins (PPT)as encompassing only the flavonoids, flavonols, and flavones. More recent epidemiological studies have supported the association between better health and long-term consumption of diets rich in foods of plant origin(Hung et al., 2004 and Jansen et al., 2004).However, whether this is because such diets minimize exposure to deleterious substances (example oxidized cholesterol, pyrolysis mutagens, salt, saturated fat, etc.), or maximize intake of certain beneficial nutrients (example isothiocyanates and other sulfur-containing plant constituents, mono-unsaturated fattyacids, and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, PPT, polyacetylenes, selenium, terpenes, etc.) or some combination as advocated in the ‘‘Polymeal’’ concept, remains unknown (Franco et al., 2004 and Johnson, 2004).

An in vitro study indicates that there may be mechanistic basis for true synergy between PPT and isothiocyanates. In contrast, more recent studies seeking to assess the suggested link between the consumption of flavonols and flavones, or other flavonoids, have given much less consistent results. Some studies have suggested a possible protective effect of flavonoids against vascular diseases (Hirvonen et al., 2001 and Mennen et al., 2004) or certain (but not all) cancers(Knekt et al., 1997 and Sun et al., 2002).Interestingly, an investigation of the relationship between the consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa (zobo) and other cruciferous vegetables and the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women has to be carried out in order to ascertain the beneficial effects to isothiocyanates and/or the phenolic components of the plants (like the dietary phenols including flavonoids) in the management of cancer growth and initiation of various types of diabetes.

In the same time period, various studies have suggested beneficial effect associated with raised consumption of other classes of dietary phenols. For example, increased coffee consumption has been linked with reduced incidence of type II diabetes (van Dam et al., 2002 and Saremi et al., 2003).Similarly, increased consumption of lignans (or at least greater plasma concentrations of their metabolites)has been linked with reduced incidence of estrogen-related cancers in some (Boccardo et al., 2004 and McCann et al., 2004) but not all studies (Kilkkinen et al., 2004 and Zeleniuch –Jacquotte et al., 2004),and a prospective study was equivocal.

1.1 Suggestions for Further Research

The flavonoids in the water extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa should be extracted for further experimental and clinical research in the management of certain ailments and disorders like cancer, diabetes mellitus etc.

The mechanisms of flavonoid-protein interactions have been determined; it is my suggestion that such mechanisms should be carried to the in-vivo metabolic and physiological processes aimed at determining the detailed mechanisms involved in cells aging processes and the progression of diseases.

1.2 Objective of Study

The objective of this study is to determine the physico chemical (biochemical) and water constituent of Zobo produced from dried calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Linn Roselle). Using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The biochemical content of the zobo has undesirable effects on human health when consumed.

Chapter Five

5.0 Discussion and Conclusion

5.1 Discussion

Since most micro-organism do not thrive under acidic conditions, I recommend that the, acidity of ‘Zobo’ should be increased such that it will not have effect on human health, by the addition of any acidic edible product e.g fruit, to suppress and inhabit the growth of unwanted pathogenic micro-organism like the Staphylococcus auerus, Escherichia coli, Asperigillus sp isolated. Nwachukwu, et al, (2007) recommended lime juice as a good acidic preservatives after their investigation on the effect of lime juice concentration on the bacterial quality of zobo drink with a view to prolong the shell-life of zobo drink, since zobo drinks is easy to produce at home, packaged in polyethylene containers and sold as source of income for most families. Therefore the addition of lime juice should be encouraged because of it’s acidic contents and it is not hazardous and hence safe for human consumption.

Furthermore, in order to enhance the keeping quality of zobo drink, the processing environment should be hygienic while the packaging materials and additives should be adequately sterilized. Potable water should be used during processing to avoid bacterial contamination of the drink. Producers of zobo drinks should be educated to know the importance of adherence to quality control measures during processing to avoid the hazardous effects of microbial contamination.

5.2 Conclusion

A lot have been known and researched on the effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts on various parameters in the metabolic processes. This work focused mainly on the mineral properties present in the water extract of zobo drink (Hibiscus sabdariffa).

Biological processes and every enzyme require cofactors and coenzymes to function optimally. Most of these cofactors are mineral elements. Complex mineral elements are not synthesized by the mammalian metabolic system, however they can be sourced through the nutrients requirements of such mammals.

Zobo drink is a major popular drink in Nigeria. The results of this research work show that the plant material (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is high enough in essential nutrients required for optimal performance of health and the maintenance of good health together with the reduction of aging. It is, therefore, encouraged to increase the intake of zobo drink.

The physico-chemical properties of Zobo was analysed which showed low acidic content of the Zobo, which is normal and unharmful to the health. In the microbiological properties, micro organisms where isolated as shown in tables 1-5, but the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia and Aspergillus sp is pathogenic to human health. The presence of these poisonous micro organisms may be due to contamination by the materials used in producing the Zobo juice and improper or lack of sterilization of the materials used and the low acid content of the Zobo which cannot inhabit the presence of these Microorganisms.

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