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View the PDF document Analysing the underutilized leafy food crops in Fiji for protein, minerals and carotenoids
Author:Roshni, Rita
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.Sc. Chemistry
Subject: Diet -- Fiji, Dietary supplements -- Fiji, Edible greens -- Fiji
Date: 2014
Call No.: pac TX 360 .F5 R67 2014
BRN: 1198374
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: The socio-economic changes that have occurred in the Pacific Islands countries have contributed largely to the change of dietary pattern of the indigenous people in both rural and urban areas. Most preference is given to processed foods which are high in fat and carbohydrate content as these foods are easy to obtain and affordable. Production and consumption of the underutilized leafy food is mostly subsistence based. Increasing incidences of micronutrient deficiencies affecting largely the developing countries have become a great concern. Some studies have linked these micronutrient deficiencies in food intakes with very low consumption of fresh leafy foods and the increased intake of processed foods, especially the starchy and fatty foods. Therefore, in this study, a survey of 230 rural and urban households was conducted to estimate the production and consumption levels of various leafy vegetables, and to identify the underutilized nutritious leafy food crops whose inclusion in the diets could be encouraged to improve nutrition balance in the food intakes of the indigenous people. The study found that the leafy vegetables, namely aibika, amaranth, chilli leaves, creeping spinach, cassava leaves, Chinese cabbage, English cabbage, cowpea leaves, drumstick leaves, Indian mulberry tree, kangkong (karamua), pumpkin leaves, roselle, sweet potato leaves, taro leaves, watercress, winged bean leaves, lettuce, nightshade leaves, mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves, papaya shoots and bottle gourd leaves are commonly known and used by the people. But, such vegetables as drumstick leaves, pumpkin leaves, papaya shoots, chilly leaves, fern, roselle, kangkong, nightshade leaves, cassava leaves, sweet potato leaves, creeping spinach, bottle gourd, cowpea, fig leaves, Indian mulberry, jointfir leaves and winged bean leaves are generally available but are not consumed in adequate amounts by the people. It was observed that generally rural people consume more diverse and more quantities of leafy vegetables as compared to that of the urban households. It was also noted that smaller families consume relatively higher quantities leafy foods as compared to large size households. Interestingly, higher literacy and higher income group households consumed lesser amounts of leafy vegetable as compared to other groups. However, they consume higher quantities of processed and ready to eat foods.
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