Euryale ferox Salisbury, the prickly water lily is an economically important aquatic cash crop for the northeastern part of India. It is commonly known as ‘makhana’ and is a vital culinary ingredient for various dishes prepared in an Indian household. Its importance as a food product amplified when it was attributed that the seeds are store house of various antioxidants and many micro- and macro-nutrients. Therefore the present study was intended to assess the antioxidant properties of methanol and aqueous extracts of leaf, petiole, rhizome, seed, seed coat and whole seed of makhana germplasm collected from different locations of Assam, India. Total phenol, flavonoid and tannin contents were evaluated for all the plant parts under study for various concentrations. With quantitative phytochemical estimations in hand, antioxidant capacity of E. ferox was measured by 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), 2, 2’- Azino-Bis-3-Ethylbenzothiazoline-6-Sulfonic acid (ABTS) and superoxide free radical scavenging assays. IC50 value of percent inhibition for every assay was also evaluated. Proximate composition was estimated comprising of ash, moisture, crude fiber, crude lipid, total carbohydrate and total protein. Ash content was recorded to be 2.68% in leaf which was significantly (p<0.05) different when compared to the means of rhizome (3.77%), petiole (4.22%) and seed (2.66%) samples. Moisture per cent was highest in petiole samples with 16.84% followed by rhizome (14.55%), seed (13.12%) and leaf (11.38%) samples. Crude fiber was documented to be high in petiole (72.22%) and comparatively low in seed (34.27%) samples. A significant difference among means (p<0.05) was recorded. Values for crude lipid per cent ranged from 3.22% (petiole) to 2.99% (rhizome). Total carbohydrate and total protein content were significantly higher in seed samples when compared to other samples under study. With the data and results obtained in the current study it became evident that E. ferox is a ‘depot’ of nutrients; but though important it still remains an underutilized crop in many parts of Assam, India. The plant needs to be further investigated and explored because of its high medicinal, antioxidant and nutrient potential all of which are important facets for food processing industries.
Keywords: Euryale ferox, Extract, Phytochemical, Antioxidant, Proximate composition