Abstract: Background and Objective:
Agricultural products and herbs are the source of food and medicine for many people all over the world. One major aspect of agricultural products is the problem of waste after the desired part has been utilized. These parts though considered as waste can serve useful purposes or as resources if effectively tapped. This study was therefore undertaken to determine some chemical components (metals and phytochemicals) in the waste components (seeds and peels) of the orange fruit.
Materials and Methods: Seeds and peels of the orange fruit were dried to constant weight and then subjected to chemical treatment for metal analysis and phytochemical screening. Metals were analyzed using the atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The metals analyzed were manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb). The qualitative detection of the phytochemicals were done using proper chemical tools of analysis for each component. The phytochemicals examined were flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, tannins, reducing sugars, alkaloids and saponins.
Results: The data obtained showed that both seeds and peels of the orange fruit contained vital chemical components at permissible levels. In both seeds and peels, Fe was found to be the highest in concentration, which was followed by the value of Mg and then Mn. The lowest observable metal in the fruit seeds and peels was Pb. The phytochemical components observed in both seeds and peels using ethylacetate as solvent and water were similar. Generally, the chemical components observed were; flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, tannins, reducing sugars, alkaloids and saponins. However, saponins were not detected in the ethylacetate phase.
Conclusion: This research work has shown the importance of agricultural waste such as the seeds and peels of orange fruit to man. These wastes if completely or industrially harnessed can be very useful as source of drug for pharmaceutical purposes.