Determination Of Boiling Effect On Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, And Vitamin A Content In The Leaf Of Ficuscarpensis

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Determination Of Boiling Effect On Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, And Vitamin A Content In The Leaf Of Ficuscarpensis


Ficuscarpensis commonly known as fig tree is a medicinal plant found in tropical forest and grassy woodlands and possesses high antioxidant capacity. This study investigated the concentrations of antioxidant vitamins: A, C and E in the boiled and fresh leaf extract `of Ficuscarpensis using Spectrophotomer. The result obtained showed that boiling reduced the concentration of Vitamin C (0.26mg/g) compared to that in the fresh leaf (1.445mg/g). Vitamin A and D were not detected in the boiled leaf extract. The fresh leaf contains Vitamin A (0.133mg/g) and Vitamin E (0.41mg/g).This result suggest that these antioxidant vitamins are heat labile and hence can be easily destroyed by heating.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Ficuscarpensis commonly known as fig tree is a medicinal plant found in tropical forests and grassy woodlands, and occurs in higher densities within well-watered, temperate upland habitats (Palgrave et al.,1984). Ficuscapensis is a fast-growing deciduous or evergreen. It belongs to the family of Moraceae and it produces fruits throughout the year and leaves are broad and green(Von Breitenbachet al., 1985). Ficuscapensis has been shown to containsursene and oleonametriterpenoids of which the latter may be effective in cancer treatment, while a methanolic extract from the root is potentially effective against chloroquineor resistance malaria (Lansky et al., 2011). In Nigeria Ficuscarpensis has been used for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, oedema, epilepsy, wound dressing and richets in infant. Furthermore, the leaves and stems bark of the plant have inhibitory effect against Escherichia coli and Shigella species ( Igoliet al., 2005).

Although, oxidative reactions are essential for survivals, they can also be damaging. Hence,To balance the oxidative state, plants and animals maintain complex systems of overlapping antioxidants, such as glutathione and enzymes (e.g., catalase and superoxide dismutase) produced internally or the dietary antioxidants: vitamin A , vitamin C, and vitamin E .

1.1 Aim

The aim of this project is to determine the boiling effect on the Ascorbic acid, Tocopherol, and Vitamin A content of the leaf extract of Ficuscapensis.

1.2 Objectives

To estimate the level of Vitamin A, Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), and Vitamin E (Tocopherol) content of leave of Ficuscarpensis present after boiling.

Chapter Five

Discussion and Conclusions

5.0 Discussion

Vitamin A, C, and E content of Ficuscapensis was extracted, boiled and the level of each vitamin was checked andestimated spectrophotometrically at the absorbance of 335nm, 515nm and 539nm. The result showed that the Ascorbic acid content fresh and boiled were 1.445 mg/g and 0.26mg/g. The concentration of Tocopherol content in fresh was 0.41mg while it was NOTAL in Boil. The concentration of Vitamin A content in fresh was 0.133mg/g while it was NOTAL in boil. However, from the result obtained, boiling Ficuscapensis leaf reduces its therapeutic effect because boiling reduces vitamins like vitamin C, A, and E. Vitamin A, C, and E have many vital role in the biological system.Deficiency of any of this vitamin will lead to several diseases: cancer, carcinogenesis, cardiovascular diseases, vision related abnormalities, Parkinsonism, infertility (Eleazuet., al 2012).Examples. Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, the intercellular ‘cement’ substance which gives structure to muscles, vascular tissues, bones, tendons and ligaments. Due to these functions, vitamin C especially in combination with zinc is also important for the healing of wounds. In addition, vitamin C contributes to the health of teeth and gums, preventing haemorrhaging and bleeding. It also improves the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C is also needed for the metabolism of bile acids which may have implications for bloodcholesterol levels and gallstones. Moreover, vitamin C plays an important role in the synthesis of several important peptide hormones, neurotransmitters and carnitine. Deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy.

Vitamin A: It is required for the maintenance of normal vision. A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to visual disturbances.

Vitamin E: The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria. The vitamin E deficiency associatedwith this disease causes problems such as poor transmission of nerveimpulses, muscle weakness, and degeneration of the retina that can cause blindness. It can also cause Abetalipoproteinemia, but it’s rare.(Wagner et al., 2004).

All the vitamins (Vit. C, A, and E) are antioxidant which protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Boiling of Ficuscapensis leaf destroys vitamin A, C, and E content of the leaf and several diseases will surface. Therefore, this will help us know that boiling Ficuscapensis leaf on processing destroys vitamin A, C, and E and this give us clue on how to process Ficuscapensis leaf as medicinal plant in other to achieve the complete efficacy of the plant.

5.1 Conclusion

Vitamin A, C, and E content of Ficuscapensis are very unstable vitamin which can easily be denatured and can be destroyed on heating. This is because Vitamin C is unstable water soluble, vitamin A, and E are unstable fat soluble and when they are subjected in heating, it leads to change in the structure of Vitamins. Therefore, extracting the chemical content of the leaf of F.capensis must be in a cold medium to avoid being destroyed by heat.

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