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Vol. 3 No. 1: June, 2015

Study on the Potassium content of Nigerian Bananas and the Methanolic Extraction, Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Studies of Oils from Banana Peels

March 2, 2016


Banana is eaten all over the world by all sections of the population. It is
known to contain potassium and it has been suggested that it could serve as a source of
potassium. Recently, a valuable chemical component, a lectin, called BanLec, was
isolated from banana fruit and found to possess anti-HIV-1 activity. However, the peels
of banana are thrown away as rubbish and farmers are known to use them as feed for
their animals. It is therefore necessary to determine the potassium content of some
Nigerian bananas and to also extract the oils from their peels. The components of the
extracted oils are to be determined and tested for their biological activity. The
potassium content of five (5) varieties of Nigerian bananas (Dwarf Cavendish AAA GP;
Lady Finger AA GP; Dwarf Chinese Double; Double Dwarf Senorata AA GP; Giant
Cavendish (Williams) AAA GP and Dwarf Red AAA GP) was determined using flame
photometer. The potassium content varied from 0.15 mg/g (Dwarf Red) to 1.80 mg/g
(Lady Finger). Compared to the value of 358 mg per 100 g reported in the literature,
these values are very low and considerable lower than the RDA of 4700 mg. The
conclusion is that Nigerian bananas will not be a viable source of potassium for
candidates with potassium deficiency. A report on the methanolic extract of oil from
their peels is given. Two (2) of the five (5) varieties were chosen and methanolic
extraction of oils from their peels was undertaken. The crude extract was subjected to
phytochemical analysis, which revealed the presence of the following of steroids,
saponin and terpenoids, anthraquinones and tannins. A report is also given on
antimicrobial studies of the methanolic extracts, which revealed that the oils were effective against some bacteria.
Keywords: Banana, Musa acuminata colla, Musa sapientum, methanolic extraction,
phytochemical study, microbial study