Compositional changes in banana (Musa ssp.) fruits during ripening

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African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (5), pp. 858-859, 6 March, 2009
Available online at
ISSN 1684–5315 © 2009 Academic Journals

Short Communication

Compositional changes in banana (Musa ssp.) fruits
during ripening

Adeyemi, O. S.1* and Oladiji, A. T.2

1Department of Chemical Sciences, Bel s University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria.
2Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

Accepted 3 February, 2009

The compositional changes in banana (musa spp) fruits were investigated. Banana fruits were
collected, dried, ground and ashed. The moisture content and mineral elements composition was
determined as ripening proceeds. The mineral elements analyzed included magnesium (Mg),
manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and cobalt (Co). Their composition was found to be 0.68, 0.66 and 0.60% in
unripe, ripe and overripe banana fruits, respectively. The moisture content and ash values for the
selected mineral elements were 73.47 and 0.68%; 77.19 and 0.80%; 79.22 and 0.78% in unripe, ripe and
overripe banana fruits, respectively. The results showed that the nutritional composition of banana pulp
was diversely affected by ripening. Changes in mineral composition varied and were not consistent
with the stages of ripeness. Bananas are considered a good source of Mg in the diet, and the data
obtained herein support these assertions. Zn and Mn are other minerals of nutritional importance in
bananas and this study has shown that their average values are adequate to support its nutritive value
at the various ripening stages. The result obtained in this study showed that banana fruits at any
ripening stage (unripe, ripe or overripe) can be a potential source of mineral elements supplement in
the diet especially for Mg.

Key words:
Banana, ripening, mineral elements, moisture content, ash value.


Banana fruits are wholesome and fairly wel balanced
amount of mineral elements and could therefore serve as
source of nutrient containing various mineral salts,
a good source of mineral supplement in human/animal
vitamins and high amount of carbohydrates with a little oil
diets. Because of its high nutritive and consumption rate,
and protein (Simmonds, 1966; Ketiku, 1973; Ahenkora et
an experiment was designed to study the physico-
al., 1997). Banana fruits are eaten raw as desert fruits.
chemical changes of the mineral element composition of
Nutritional information is used increasingly by public
banana fruits at various ripening stages which were
agencies and agricultural industries to promote fresh
grouped as unripe, ripe and overripe.
produce. Consumers are looking for variety in their diets,

and are aware of the health benefits of fresh fruits and

vegetables. Of special interest are food sources rich in
anti-oxidant vitamins (vitamins C, A, and E), calcium

(Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K), (Marisa,
The banana fruits employed in this study were purchased from the
2006). bananas are considered nutritive with high content
New Market, Baboko-Ilorin Kwara State, Nigeria. The bananas were
divided into three (3) groups namely, unripe, ripe and overripe. Al
of vitamins A and C but poor in vitamins B (Margard and
chemical reagents used were of analytical grade and obtained from
Briav, 1979). General y, bananas contain a considerable
the British Drug House (BDH) Poole, England as supplied by the

Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. The

standard AOAC (1984) and Oyeleke 1984 methods were used to
determine the moisture content and the minerals were extracted

from dry-ashed samples in HCl and determined by atomic
*Corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected]
absorption spectrophotometry (AOAC, 1984).

Adeyemi and Oladiji 859

Table 1. Moisture, ash and mineral contents of ripening banana fruit.

Moisture (%)
Ash (%)
Zn (%)
Mn (%)
Co (%)
Mg (%)


There were varied changes in mineral composition of
Aboua F (1991). Chemical and physical changes in plantains (Musa
paradisiaca) during ripening. Tropical Science 31:183-187.
bananas during ripening and the ash content increased
Ahenkora KM, Kye A, Marfo K, Banful B (1997). Nutritional composition
with ripening (Table 1). The moisture content increased
of false horn Apantu pa plantain during ripening and processing. Afr.
with ripening. This explains the softening texture of
Crop Sci. J. 5(2): 243-248.
banana fruits as ripening proceeds and it agrees with
AOAC. (1980). Official Methods of Analysis. Horwitz W (Ed.). 13th Edn.
Association of Official Analytical Chemists.
Simmonds (1966) and Ahenkora et al. (1997). The ash
Ben-Amotz A, Fishler R (1998). Analysis of carotenoids with emphasis
values increase gradual y with ripening and can be said
on 9-cis b-carotene in vegetables and fruits commonly consumed in
to be concomitant with the mineral element composition.
Israel. Food Chem. 62: 515-520.
The magnesium content of the banana kept decreasing
Fonad TM (1996). The physicochemical roles of chelated minerals in
maintaining optimal body biological function. J. Appl. Nutr. 28: 5-23.
with ripening, while increase in zinc and manganese
Hearer AE (1986). Modern Banana Production, London. Leonard Hil
reached a peak at the ripe stage and decreased
thereafter. Decrease in mineral element composition is a
Ketiku AO (1973). Chemical composition of unripe (green) and ripe
crucial physical event of softening of banana fruits
plantain (Musa paradisiaca). J. Sci. Food Agric. 24: 703-707.
Margard LU, Briav MA (1979). Plant Products of Tropical Africa. The
(Hearer, 1986; Aboua, 1991; Ahenkora et al., 1997).
Macmil an Press Limited, London. Chapter 6, pp. 35-36.
The Mg content of the banana kept decreasing with
Marisa MW (2006). Ascorbic acid, vitamin A, and mineral composition of
ripening, while increase in Zn and Mn reached a peak at
banana (Musa sp.) and papaya (Carica papaya) cultivars grown in
the ripe stage and decreased thereafter. The decrease in
Hawai . J. Food Compos. Anal. 19: 434-445.
Oyeleke OA (1984). Outlines of Food Analysis. Department of
the level of Mg could be attributed to the conversion of
Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
chlorophyl , the green pigment in unripe banana to
Simmonds NN (1966). Banana. 2nd Edition, Longman Publishers
carotenoids which is responsible for the characteristic
yel ow colour of ripe banana fruits (Hearer, 1986; Fonad,
Tee ES, Lim CL (1991). Carotenoid composition and content of
Malaysian vegetables and fruits by the AOAC and HPLC methods.
1996). The degree of coloration is indicative of the
Food Chem. 41: 309-339.
composition of these components in banana. Magnesium

is an important component of chlorophyl thus unripe

banana has a higher value for magnesium. As ripening

proceeds, the green pigment of unripe banana is con-

verted to carotenoids in ripe banana. Zinc is an important

component of carotenoids (Tee and Lim, 1991; Fonad,

1996; Ben-Amotz and Fishler, 1998); it forms a non-

enzymatic covalent bonding with chlorophyl thus its

conversion to carotenoids. This explains why the level of

zinc increases with ripening.

The results as obtained herein showed that banana

fruits could serve as mineral element supplement in diet

for both humans and animals and that the nutritive and

quality of the fruits can stil be employed at the various

ripening stages. Banana fruits may be consumed unripe

(green), yel ow-green, or ripe. Understanding of the che-

mical changes associated with ripening may form the

basis for expanding the utilization of bananas.