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1.1             Background of the study

Apple has being part of human diet and food supplement over the years. It’s considered as healthy food supplements because they contain high quantity of water, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals such as Ca, Mg, Na, K, Zn and Fe (Wenkam, 2015) and organic compounds which are required in small amounts, to make the body function properly (Wills, 2013). Apple is almost 100 percent sodium-free with about only 1 mg of sodium. Studies on metals have revealed their function in plants and animals which includes their role in osmotic regulations of the body fluids enhances growth, ensure healthy crops and animals, and act as coenzyme and information of chlorophyll. Besides their dietary importance, they are also useful as nutrient supplements and recommended internationally as superior to processed foods. The rise in nutritional importance of apple has been stimulated by a range of degenerative diseases prevalent in many part of the world (Wenkam, 2015)

          However, besides the nutritional advantages of apple, it also contains certain anti-nutritional factors (Ewaidah, 2013) such as phytins, tannins and oxalates. Phytic acid is an anti-nutritional found in plant foods which has the ability to chelate divalent elements like calcium (Oberleas, 2012) thus decreasing the bio-availability. Tannins exhibit anti-nutritional potentials by precipitating dietary proteins and digestive enzymes to form complexes that are not readily digestible (Aletor, 2013) which could lead to poor weight gain and lower protein efficiency ratio (Glick and Joslyn, 2010). Oxalic acid is corrosive to tissues, when ingested; it removes calcium from the blood in the form of calcium oxalate, thereby causing kidney damage. Lecitins and Saponin substances can combine with essential proteins in the intestinal tract (Jose, 2009) reducing their absorption. Presence of lecitins in diet can lead to reduced growth in man by interfering with the digestion and absorption of nutrients in the Gastrointestinal Tract (Aletor, 2013).

1.2             Statement of the problem

          Sodium, or salt, is a mineral that our bodies need to function, including to contract and relax muscles, and to transmit nerve impulses. Problem is, too much salt negatively affects the body’s fluid balance, and can lead to serious health problems. Most of us are consuming too much sodium, more than the recommended 1,500 milligrams per day (that’s less than 3/4 teaspoon). However, apples are almost 100 percent sodium-free with about only 1 mg of sodium. On the other hand, reducing the amount of sodium in our diet – such as by eating apples and helps to: prevent or control high blood pressure; prevent heart disease and stroke; protect kidneys and avoid unhealthy fluid retention, which can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. On the other hand, many factors affect the chemical composition of plant foods. Likewise, in apple there exists significant variation of nutrients and bioactive chemicals among apple cultivars. We have known for some time that apples are a natural mouth freshener, which are low in calories and an excellent source of fiber. More recent dis-coveries show that apples are also an excellent source of bioactive phenolic phytochemicals that may provide special nutraceutical benefits compared to other common fruits.

1.3     General objective of the study

The general objective of this study is to determine the proximate mineral and anti-nutritional composition of sodium apple.

Specific objectives of the study are to:

1.     determine the proximate composition of apple.

2.     assess the anti-nutrients composition in apple.

3.     examine the mineral composition of apple

1.4     Research questions

1.     What is the proximate composition of apple?

2.     What is the anti-nutrients composition in apple?

3.     What is the mineral composition of apple?

1.5     Significance of the Study

This study will expose the proximate composition, mineral composition and anti-nutrients composition of apples and apple products.  It will also identify gaps which would be recommended for correction. It will also provide reference material for the academic society as well as further research.

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