This work aimed at investigating the impact of the change in color of Moringa oleifera leaves on its nutritional value, phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity. The green and yellow moringa leaves (fresh) were dried in an oven at 45C for 48h and blended. The powders of each plant material were divided into two parts, one for the determination of the proximate composition and mineral content, and the other for the determination of the phenolic content and antioxidant activity. Results showed that the change in color of Moringa oleifera leaves does not affect its proximate composition, phenolic content, metal chelation activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power. The change in the color of the leaves from green to increases their radical scavenging activity and iron content (61.41 to 96.68%). However, it significantly reduces the potassium (3144 to 131.20%), sodium (141.70 to 15.90%), calcium (2346.80 to 1576%) and Magnesium (657.50 to 471.40%) content of the leaves. Green Moringa oleifera leaves can be recommended for their good nutritional value (mineral element) compared to yellow leaves.
The knowledge of the nutrient and phytochemical composition as well as the antioxidant activity of green Moringa oleifera leaves can help in food formulation and supplementation in order to reduce poor nutrition. Its leaves can serve as natural preservative in foods as well as traditional medicine in order to reduce the damages caused by free radicals in the body.
Moringa oleifera, yellow and green leaves, nutrient content, phenolic content, antioxidant activity.