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16 October 2018 Nutrient and Elemental Composition of Wild Edible Ferns of the Himalaya.
Smriti Chettri
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Ferns form a part of vegetable consumption in many communities across the globe. Their popularity is rising because of their high nutritional content such as vitamin C, protein, and iron. Given that the nutritive value of different wild edible ferns has not been explored comprehensively, the present study was carried out. Six different species of wild edible ferns viz. Diplazium esculentum, Dryopteris cochleata, Diplazium spectabile, Diplazium dilatatum, Tectaria coadunata, and Diplazium maximum were analyzed for dietary nutrients and multi-elemental profiling. The highest moisture content (89.83%) and highest vitamin C content (25.38 mg g−100) was found in Diplazium maximum.The highest protein was found in Tectaria coadunata (12.10%), which was much higher compared to many common commercial vegetables. Fat content was highest in Dryopteris cochleata (0.40%), whereas fiber content was found to be maximum in Diplazium esculentum (5.05%) and ash content was highest in Diplazium spectabile (1.57%). The mineral analysis of these ferns showed that they are good suppliers of sodium (0.46– 3.56 mg g−100), magnesium (6.42– 13.39 mg g−100), and iron (10.36– 16.35 mg g−100). Most of the toxic and heavy metals were found to be within permissible limits. However, some of the fern species collected from certain regions had higher levels of these metals. Based on the present study on dietary nutrients and elemental profile, these edible ferns could be popularized for commercial cultivation. Further, research work could be conducted for standardizing practices and, because of anticipated climate changes, these ferns could add diversity in the world food basket.

Smriti Chettri "Nutrient and Elemental Composition of Wild Edible Ferns of the Himalaya.," American Fern Journal 108(3), 95-106, (16 October 2018).
Published: 16 October 2018
elemental profile
green leafy vegetables
heavy metals
wild vegetables
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