The study aimed at phytochemical screening, elemental and proximate composition of two varieties of Cyperus esculentus (tiger nut) big yellow and small brown nuts using standard methods. The phytochemicals tested for were alkaloid, saponin, tannin, glycoside, flavonoid, steroid and resin. All the aforementioned phytochemicals with the exception of resin were present in the two varieties. The elements tested for were Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, K and Fe. The result shows big yellow variety had higher Na, K, and Ca with mean values 70.8 mg/Kg, 3694.43 mg/Kg and 372.2 mg/Kg respectively. Both samples had equal Fe, Zn and Mn contents of 21.0 mg/Kg, 8.3 mg/Kg and 1.67 mg/Kg respectively. Small brown variety had higher Mg content (308.3 mg/Kg). The proximate analysis show brown yellow variety had higher ash, crude protein and crude fiber contents with values of 1.85%, 2.75% and 9.25% respectively. While small brown variety had higher moisture and fatty acid contents of 4.25 % and 15.2% respectively. Considering the potential nutritive and health benefits of the underutilized tiger nuts, it is suggested that utilization of tiger nut products (such as biscuits, flour and milk etc.) should be encouraged so as to ameliorate the problem of protein-calorie malnutrition in children, since it is rich in nutritional contents.
Cyperus esculentus, elemental, phytochemical, proximate, tiger nut