Growing and processing moringa leaves

Date: 
2010

The moringa leaf is a nutritionally rich, ecological and economical vegetable available in practically all tropical countries. It is therefore essential to develop the production and consumption of this "green superfood".

Moringa leaves are an excellent, concentrated source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Of the 120 vegetable species tested for their nutrient content, antioxidant activity, gustatory qualities and the facility with which they are grown and processed, moringa leaves were top ranked by the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC).

Moringa oleifera grows quickly and is easy to cultivate. The moringa leaf, fresh or processed into dried powder, can be used as an every-day food item in a multitude of ways: in ready-made meals, juices, breads, pasta, fritters, condiments, instant soups… This food can be used in households, school cafeterias, dispensaries, maternity wards, nutrition rehabilitation centres, as well as in restaurants and supermarkets.

This handbook is destined to improve moringa leaf farming and processing in order to meet top sanitary and nutritional standards. For the first time, the techniques of moringa production, perfected by African farmers, have been compiled, verified and presented in an easy-to-use, precise manner. The steps in the leaf-processing phase have been tested and improved based on information gathered from both Africa and Asia. Finally, the analysis of reliable scientific reports has helped establish average nutrient values of fresh or powdered moringa leaves.

Moringa is an exceptional resource for developing countries. Processed or fresh, the moringa leaf is not only a new, promising source of income and employment, but also an outstanding, nutritionally rich vegetable for families and markets.

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