Velvet tamarind (Dalium guineense) belongs to the genus Dalium and to the family of leguminosae. Legumes are good sources of protein and energy. Legumes are nutritionally useful for both human and animal consumption and also for improvement of soil fertility. It is found in Ghana, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam and many West African countries.
At maturity stage, the fruit dries up while the pod becomes stiff, brittle and inside turns pasty and brown. Every fruit contains only one firm seed which is flat, circular, brown in color with a width of 7-8 millimeters and a thickness of 3 mm. The seed is a look alike of a watermelons seed having 2 seeds. The seed has a glossy finish and has a coating of starch. Velvet tamarind is a very popular fruit snack, particularly among children, who peel the black velvet case to reveal an orange pulp that is eaten raw. Due to it nutritional value, Staplefoods.org recommends its use to alleviate protein malnutrition among the old and the infant at a reduced price. When other protein -rich foods are scarce and expensive, it is affordable and easily available
According to Gnansounou et al (2014), Velvet tamarind has a potential for micro-nutrients. (Gnansounou et al., 2014) Like the other fruits, it emerges that the fruit pulp of velvet tamarind is rich in minerals with interesting values
Iodine (04.34 ± 0.12 mg/100 g)
Iron (14.75 ± 0.25 mg/100 g)
Calcium (70.14 ± 10 mg/100 g) and Potassium (366 ± 0.26 mg/100 g).
The proximate composition of velvet tamarind fruit pulp using Bio-molecules analyzes has shown a high level of total carbohydrate(Gnansounou et al., 2014).
Total carbohydrates (80 ± 1.8 g/100 g)
Crude lipid (09.21 ± 0.50 g/100 g)
Crude proteins (6.12 ± 0.33 g/100 g)
Ascorbic acid (4.5 ± 0.01 mg/100 g)
Moisture content (9.36 ± 1 .36 g/100 g).
Health Benefits of Velvet Tamarind
Velvet Tamarind has many health benefits , listed below are some of its essential health benefits
- Combats Fatigue and Immunodeficiency
- Treats scurvy
- Heals wounds
- Repairs blood vessels and combats anemia
- Prevents hypertension.
- Serves as an antioxidant