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1.1 Importance of Okra Seeds as a Food Supplement:

Okra is an important vegetable crop that is widely
used and cultivated in different regions of World. The seeds of the Okra plant
has been found to have the richest part nutritionally. This thesis focuses on
the nutritive value, health benefits and functional properties of Okra Seeds as
a Food Supplement.

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1.2 Composition of Okra:

Many studies indicated that Okra is a good source of
nutrients than that of many other vegetables.


Okra seeds are rich in some fatty acids too. Fats or
lipids imparts a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fats are a good
source of energy, that are responsible for regulating body functions in our


Two types of fats exists:

Saturated fats

Unsaturated fats (Monounsaturated &


When a fatty acid’s carbon chain is completely
filled with hydrogen atoms, it is known as a saturated fatty acid. These fats
are directly linked with heart diseases, eating large amounts of these fats can
lead to an increased risk of heart diseases and high cholesterol level by
raising LDL (bad) cholesterol level in blood. These fats are solid at room
temperature. They are usually present in:

Dairy products

Meat products

Fatty snack foods

Deep fried items

Cakes & pastries etc UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS:

When a fatty acid’s carbon chain is not completely
filled with hydrogen atoms, it is known as unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty
acid. These fats are mostly used in a healthy and balanced diet. Unsaturated
fats help reducing LDL cholesterol level in blood, thus lowering the risk of
chronic diseases. These fats are liquid(oil) at room temperature.

There are two main types of unsaturated fats:


They are found in nuts(cashews and almonds), olive
and canola oil.


Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain Omega-3 and
Omega-6 fatty acids. Linoleic acid is an example of omega-6 fatty acid.
Linoleic acids have been linked with the maintenance of skin & hair growth,
stimulation of growth & it supports brain development as well. These fats
are rich in vegetable oils such as bean, nuts and seeds.


Trans fatty acids have been linked with increased
levels of LDL cholesterol & therefore have an increased risk of heart
disease, trans fatty acid may be formed during the manufacturing of margarine
& shortening through the process of partial hydrogenation. They are found
in butter and margarines and many packaged foods.

Previous studies shows that okra seeds are a huge
source of oil, concentration depend on the method of extraction. The oil mainly
consists of linoleic acid. Okra seed oil is a good source of linoleic acid, a
polyunsaturated fatty acid essential for good nutrition.


An antioxidant is an additive that stops or delays
the rate of oxidation. It is also used to increase the shelf life of a product.
Antioxidants reacts with oxygen containing free radicals and prevent oxidation.
These antioxidants may be present naturally in food or can be added as a
preservative. Many foods are good sources of antioxidants, okra seeds are one
of them as the source of okra is plant. Researches shows that okra seeds holds
a higher antioxidant /antimicrobial /antifatigue activity as they are rich in
many bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids,  polyphenols, isoquercitrin & quercitin


2 major classes of antioxidants are known:

Naturally occurring antioxidants
(vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids)

Synthetic antioxidants (BHT, BHA)


Oxidation process may result in the formation of
many compounds causing undesirable changes and reduced nutritional value in
food products that decreases consumer acceptability regarding food
product.  Food spoilage usually occurs
due to the oxidation reaction, this can be eliminated or reduced by using

Antioxidants aids against oxidation, a chemical process
that occurs naturally in the presence of oxygen. Oxygen triggers the formation
of free radicals, these free radicals may start a chain of damaging chemical


Free radicals are group of atoms with an uneven pair
of electrons, they can be formed when oxygen interacts with them. Once they are
initiated, these free radicals can start a chain reaction of chemical
reactions. Antioxidants aids in terminating these chemical reactions.VITAMINS:Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in
small amounts for regulating many functions in body. We have to take vitamins
from our diet as our body can’t synthesize them. Vitamins are natural compound
in food in small amount that’s why vitamins are considered as micronutrients.
They are essential for our body’s function e.g. growth, reproduction etc. Okra
contain lots of vitamin in a good amount such as vitamin A, vitamin C and
vitamin E as described by many researchers.CLASSIFICATION OF VITAMINS:Two major classes of vitamins are known:·        
Water soluble vitamins (B and C)·        
Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K)WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS:VITAMIN B:It includes:·        
B1 (Thiamine)·        
B2 (Riboflavin)·        
B3 (Niacin)·        
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)·        
B6 (Pyridoxine)·        
B7 (Biotin)·        
B9 (Folic Acid)·        
B12 (Cobalamin)Vitamin B family made up of these 8 classes, they
often work together in the body. They help the body to perform several
functions. They also help in making red blood cells. Folate found in okra helps
reducing neural tube defects. They are found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and
dairy products.VITAMIN C (Ascorbic Acid):

 People need
to get this vitamin through their diet. Historically, vitamin C was used to
treat Scurvy as the deficiency of this vitamin can lead to Scurvy. These days,
vitamin C is mostly used for treating common cold, skin infections etc. It also
boosts the immune system by acting as an antioxidant. Vitamin C found in okra
helps in repairing the body tissues. Thus, it helps keep your skin younger.
Vitamin C commonly found in oranges, guavas, kiwi fruit, broccoli, tomatoes and
kale.Okra seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibre and
other nutrients hence, they have huge potential to be used as a supplement for
food industries as it can increase the market value of the product because of
many health benefits which will be decribed in the next section of the

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