In the previous article we looked at the Ugu leaf.
Now in this article we’ll be looking at the Ugu seed,
Ugu seed called Mkpuru Ugu and the pod called Ogbo Ugu in igbo,
At the start of the growing process of the Ugu plant,
The seed is nowhere in the picture aside the one used for planting like so many other plants.
The Ugu plant first produces leaves,
harvested after about a month; the leaves keep growing and expanding,
Although Ugu plant grown for seeds the leaves are not being harvested.
After about five months, a little pod appears and keeps increasing
which takes about four months to get to maturity,
Inside the pod lies the Ugu seed,
the pod known as the fruit of the ugu plant, which is not edible except the seed found inside it.
They are usually produced from matured Ugu plants,
So if you want to grow the Ugu plants for the seeds you will need to grow the plant much longer, although Ugu is an annual crop.
Determine the Ugu plants to be set aside to grow for seed,
The plant grown for seed, the leaves are not being harvested,
They are left alone to grow, that way the plant begins to flower,
Fertilization takes place and boom! The pod appears,
At the sight of the pod, ensure not to cut or tamper with the stem carrying the pod.
The pod houses the seeds they could be as much as 30-100 seeds depending on the size of the pod.
The fruit is not edible but the seed it carries is edible
100g Ugu seed
Protein – 36.88%
Moisture – 2.58%
Fat – 31.56%
Ash – 3.45%
Fiber – 2.80%
CHO – 22.73%
Dry matter – 97.42%
Energy kcal – 520.68
Per 100g Ugu seed
Sodium – 3.8 mg
Potassium – 342 mg
Calcium – 12 mg
Magnesium – 6.5 mg
Iron – 1.5 mg
Zinc – 0.14mg
Description of the Ugu Seed and Fruit (Pod)
The ugu pod has an oval-shape with ridges like Okra and Star fruit,
Its composed of a green outer cover which is 5mm thick
and its white on the inside with a thickness of about 10mm a good similarity is that of a watermelon,
inside it an orange coloured pulp and black round seeds imbedded inside the pulp.
The fruits can weigh between 45 – 60kg.
The seed is a round with a hard black shell
formed by two halves, when broken into two halves it contains a white irregular shape or round endocarp that’s edible when cooked.
Large seeds have a diameter that can be up to 5 cm
boiled or roasted seeds tastes like almond,
If you can recap some of the uses of the Ugu leaf which are cooking soup, making juice, to mention a few
the seed is very different in the way its used.
The seed boiled or roasted and taken as snacks
The seed can be further processed to make:
Ogiri (fermented slurry),
Used in making flour that serves as thickener for soup and sauce
The flour is also used in baking products
because of its high oil content it is also used in making oil.
Seed oil serves as cooking oil and used in the production of margarine
The oil used in making paint and vanishes
the young seed and fruit pulp used to make marmalade.
The process is like boiling only that this time you do not use water.
Note: the matured seed are not consumed because they have a high
content of anti-nutrient, seeds best for eating are the not so
matured seed, but you need matured seeds for planting.
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