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This work was focused on the chemical compositions of the shell, pulp and seed of Cittrullus colocynthis fruit as well as the antimicrobial potentials of their extracts. The proximate analysis showed the presence of moisture, fibre, dry matter, ash, protein, crude fat, ether extract and carbohydrate.  They were found to be very rich in potassium which ranged from 116.7mg/100g in the shell to 182.6mg/100g in the seed. Sodium had reasonable values which ranged from 42.8mg/100g in the shell to 89.3mg/100g in the seed. They were found to be very rich in trace minerals: Fe, Cu, Se, Mn, Zn and Co. Copper had the highest value ranging from 7.04mg/100g in the shell to 16.4mg/100g in the seed. The other trace elements had lower but very reasonable values in the seed, pulp and the shell. The vitamin A compositions ranged from 5.8IU/100g in the shell to 19.5IU/100g in the pulp while vitamin E content ranged from 3.3IU/100g in the seed to 6.9IU/100g in the pulp. The B-vitamins (B1, B2 and B3) were not detected in the seed, pulp and the shell. The phytochemical analysis showed the presence of flavonoids, phytates, oxalate, HCN, alkaloid, saponin and tannin. The flavonoid content was the highest in the seed with a value of 2.8mg/100g while phytate was the lowest in the seed with a value of 0.3mg/100g. Oxalate had the highest value of 2.9mg/100g in the pulp while phytate had the lowest value of 0.3mg/100g. Flavonoid had the highest value of 2.4mg/100g in the shell while oxalate had the lowest value of 0.2mg/100g. The GC/MS analysis revealed the presence of 16 compounds in each of the shell and pulp and 15 compounds in the seed. The Antimicrobial study of the extracts revealed some levels of activity against some bacteria (Staphylococcus, E. coli, Salmolina, Pseudomonas, Shigella, Streptococcus) and fungi (Penicillium, Rhizopes, Fusamium, Kleb, Aspergium) .  


Title page                                                                                                                    i

Declaration                                                                                                                  ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Certification                                                                                                                iv

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      v

Table Of Contents                                                                                                      vii

List of Tables                                                                                                              x

Abstract                                                                                                                      xi        


1.0       Introduction                                                                                                    1

1.1    Statement of problem                                                                                        2

1.2       Aims/Objectives                                                                                              2

1.3     Scope of study                                                                                                  2          CHAPTER  2

2.0       Literature Review                                                                                           4

2.1       Economic importance of Cittrullus colocynthis                                              8

2.2       Medicinal importance of Cittrullus colocynthis                                              8


3.0       Materials and Methods                                                                                   12

3.1       Sample Collection                                                                                           12

3.2       Sample Preparation                                                                                         12

3.3       Determination of proximate composition:                                                      13

3.3.1    Determination of moisture content:                                                                13

3.3.2    Determination of ash content                                                                         13

3.3.3    Determination of crude fibre                                                                          14

3.3.4    Determination of crude fat                                                                             15

3.3.5    Determination of protein                                                                                16

3.3.6    Determination of carbohydrate:                                                                      17

3.4       Determination of minerals:                                                                             17

3.4.1    Determination of calcium:                                                                              17

3.4.2    Determination of Potassium and Sodium                                                       18

3.4.3    Determination of Iron                                                                                     19

3.4.4    Determination of Phosphate                                                                           19

3.4.5    Determination of Manganese and Copper                                                      20

3.4.6    Determination of Selenium                                                                             21

3.4.7    Determination of Cobalt                                                                                 21

3.5       Determination of vitamins                                                                              21

3.5.1    Determination of Thiamine (B1)                                                                     21

3.5.2    Determination of Riboflavin (B2)                                                                   22

3.5.3    Determination of Niacin  (B3)                                                                         23

3.6       Phytochemical determination                                                                         24

3.6.1    Quantitative determination of Alkaloids                                                        24

3.6.2    Determination of Tannins:                                                                              25

3.6.3    Determination of Saponin:                                                                              26

3.6.4    Determination of Flavonoids:                                                                         26

3.7       GC-MS Analysis                                                                                             27

3.8       Screening for anti-microbial activity.                                                              27


4.0       Results and Discussion                                                                                   29


5.0       Conclusion                                                                                                      54

5.1       Recommendation                                                                                            54










Table                                                                                                                           Page

 4.1      The  proximate compositions of the-seed, pulp and shell of

Cittrullus colocynthis  fruit                                                                              29


4.2:      The result of the mineral composition of the seed, pulp and shell

 of the  fruit of Cittrullus colocynthis                                                              31


4.3       The result of the Vitamin composition of the seed, pulp and shell 

of   Cittrullus colocynthis fruit                                                                        33


4.4:      The result of the phytochemical compositions of the shell, pulp and

shell of the fruit of  cittrullus colocynthis                                                       35


4.5:      Result of GC/MS analysis of Cittrullus colocynthis                                       38


4.6:      Zones of inhibition of seed extract and standard anti-bacterial (mg/ml)        47


4.7:      Zones of inhibition of pulp extract and standard anti-bacterial (mg/ml)        48


4.8:      Zones of inhibition of shell extract and standard anti-bacterial (mg/ml)        49


4.9:      Zones of inhibition of seed extract and standard anti-fungall (mg/ml)          51


4.10:    Zones of inhibition of pulp extract and standard anti-fungall (mg/ml)          52


4.11:    Zones of inhibition of seed extract and standard anti-fungall (mg/ml)          53








Figure                                                                                                                       Page                                 

1: Fruit of Cittrullus colocynthis                                                                               7

                                                        CHAPTER 1


Cittrulluscolocynthis belongs to Cucurbitaceaefamily popularly known as bitter apple. It is a Nigerian medicinal plant with many common names including colocynth, bitter apple, bitter cucumber, desert gourds (USDA, 2014). Cittrulluscolocynthis resembles watermelon vine but bears small, hard fruits with a bitter pulp. The fruit is globular, slightly depressed, 5-7cm in diameter, green in colour and gets white glabrous when ripe. The fruit is filled with a dry spongy very bitter pulp.

The seeds are 4-6mm long and pale brown in colour. They are edible but similarly bitter, nutty flavoured and rich in fat and protein (Schafferman et al., 1998). They are eaten whole or used as an oilseed. It has been reported that the oil content of the seeds is 17-19% (w/w) consisting 0f 67-73% linoleic acid. The oil yield is about 400l/hectare (Schafferman et al., 1998). The seeds contain a high amount of arginnine, tryptophan and sulfur-containing-amino acids (Gurudeendanet al., 2010).

The leaves are very variable in size. The uncultivated leaf is about 3.8 to 6.3cm in length and 2.5cm in width while the cultivated ones are larger in size. The leaf shows deltoid margin, pale green colour above and ashy colour beneath on bout surfaces.

The Cittrulluscolocynthis plant is used as an ingredient in the electuary called confectiohamech or diacatholicon and most other laxative pills; in such cases as required purging, it was very successful. It is one of the most violent purgative drugs known. It is also used in the obstruction of menses. Some women used it in the beginning of pregnancy to cause abortion which often occurs due to the violence of its operation (James et al., 1999).It is used in curing diabetic patients (Huseniet al., 2009) .


This fruitCittrulluscolocynthis belongs to the curcubitacea family and it grows wild.Some people consider it edible and claim that it has some medicinal values while some consider it inedible and poisonous. So, this study is to find out the food values as well as the antimicrobial potentials of the seed, pulp and shell of the fruit of Cittrulluscolocynthis .


To investigate the food values of the seed, pulp and shell of the fruit of Cittrulluscolocynthisand the antimicrobial potentials of their extracts.

1.4           SCOPE OF STUDY

1.      To determine the major nutritional components:proximate, minerals, vitamins as well as the phytochemical components  (secondary metabolites).

2.      GC/MS analyses of the methanolic extracts of the seed, pulp and  shell of the fruit of Cittrulluscolocynthis.

3.      To evaluate the antimicrobial potentials  of the methanolic extracts of the seed, pulp and  shell of the fruit of Cittrulluscolocynthis.

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