Variation of Nutrients and Functional Properties within Young Shoots of a Bamboo Species (Yushania alpina) Growing at Mt. Elgon Region in Western Kenya


Yushania alpina is an indigenous bamboo species growing at Mt. Elgon forest in Western Kenya and its young shoots are consumed by the local people as a vegetable. This study was done to determine some physicochemical properties and their distribution within the shoot. Each shoot was divided into the upper and lower portions which were analyzed separately, and results were expressed in dry weight basis. On proximate composition, there was no significant difference (p<0.05) between the two portions in terms of moisture, protein, ash and fat content, which ranged 92.2-92.4% fresh weight, 33.0-33.4% dry weight basis (dwb), 17.0-17.1% dwb and 2.0% dwb, respectively. Significant difference was found in fiber and carbohydrates, whose content was 23.9 and 23.6% dwb in the upper portion compared to 30.7 and 17.3% dwb in the lower part, respectively. The upper portion contained Ca of 2,670, Mg of 4,300, K of 35,900 and P of 7,630 µg/g dwb, whereas the lower portion had Ca of 1,060, Mg of 1,270, K of 27,600 and P of 4,810 µg/g dwb. The upper portion was found to contain thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin C of 2.2, 8.4 and 78.2 µg/g dwb, respectively, whereas the lower part contained 1.8, 7.3 and 51.2 µg/g dwb, respectively. Fructose was found to differ significantly with the upper portion having 2.19 % against 0.62 % in the lower portion. Total polyphenol and flavonoid content of 27.6 and 24.6 mg/g dwb, respectively, were observed in the upper part compared to 25.9 and 20.1 mg/g dwb, respectively in the lower part. The upper portion was observed to exhibit better antioxidant activity with LC50 of 1 mg/ml compared to 5 mg/ml for the lower part, and higher Hunter’s L* value.




Yushania alpina, bamboo, nutrients’ distribution, minerals, polyphenol, flavonoids, antioxidant activity


Karanja, P. N., Kenji, G. M., Njoroge, S. M., Sila, D. N., Onyango, C. A., Koaze, H., & Baba, N. (2015). Variation of nutrients and functional properties within young shoots of a bamboo species (Yushaniaalpina) growing at Mt. Elgon Region in Western Kenya. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 3(10), 675-680.