African Locust Beans: More than just a condiment (Review)

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  • July 5, 2019
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Abstract
Several species of legumes have been enclave into the world of the underutilized, with some of their potentials undervalued and incognito. Underutilized legumes are legumes that are undervalued and have formerly not been classified as major legumes; these include some species of the genus Acacia, Albizia, Caesalpinia, Gliricidia and Parkia. African Locust Bean (Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) R.Br. ex G.Don) is predominantly used in the production of the native condiment called iru amongst the Yorubaspeaking people of Nigeria.  The most populated view of its use is as a condiment; however, efforts are being made by researchers to exploit the numerous benefits of this legume in the production of new value chains; this prompted a search into existing literatures for its divers uses. Its use as a genital wash against urinary tract infection, as an infant food formulae supplement, mosquito repellant, means of managing obesity and in treating asthma are Ethnobotanical reports of this plant. Its antibacterial, probiotic, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and wound healing potentials, antihypertensive, as a binder and thickener, pesticide and herbicide have been scientifically investigated. Research in process technology, new product development value chain addition and marketing will bring P. biglobosa and other underutilized legumes at par with major world crops.

Keywords: Parkia biglobosa, Underutilized Legumes, African Locust Bean

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