Nutritional composition of aquatic plants and their potential for use as animal feed: A case study of the Lower Volta Basin, Ghana




Etse WJ, Annang T, Ayivor JS. 2018. Nutritional composition of aquatic plants and their potential for use as animal feed: a case study of the Lower Volta Basin, Ghana. Biofarmasi J Nat Prod Biochem 9: 99-112. The study was conducted to determine the nutritional composition of selected dominant aquatic plants and their significant effect on the chemical and physical characteristics of the water. Aquatic plants namely Nymphaea lotus, Typha australis, Ipomoea aquatica, and Scirpus cubensis were collected, identified and authenticated at the Ghana Herbarium. The proximate nutritional compositions of these plants were measured using the standard procedure outlined in the Association of Official Analytical Chemist (AOAC 2002). Water and sediment quality analyses of some physicochemical variables were also carried out using processes described in the standard methods for water and wastewater examination. The results showed that nutrient composition such as the crude protein, ether extracts, ash content, and nitrogen-free extracts was significantly higher than the corresponding constituents in Panicum maximum used as a control for the study. The findings also indicated that levels of heavy metals in all plants fell within the WHO/FAO standards for metals in vegetables and food. The effects of the physicochemical parameter of water also revealed that pH, nitrate, turbidity, DO, and BOD levels were found significantly different from the control site. The level of heavy metal in the sediment samples revealed significant variations in the distribution of the metals, with Zn showing the most significant difference and Pb the least with a mean level of 7.5±0.86 mg/L and 0.4±0.03 mg/L respectively. These plant species suggests having a high nutritive potential and indicates their possible use as mixed ingredients in animal feed. Exploitation of these aquatic plants for animal feed would be a step towards better utilization of these plants help in the management of aquatic plants within the basin.