Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Biosciences Agriculture and Food Technology, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Waterloo Research Campus, Carapichaima

2 Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, University of the West Indies, Trinidad

3 Soil and Water Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Abstract

Purpose: This paper provides an in-depth critical review and analysis of current and recent research undertaken on the agro-ecology, photochemistry, postharvest physiology and utilization of Moringa oleifera Lam. Findings: This treatise provided a comprehensive review of current and relevant research on the horticultural practices, its agro-ecological conditions, and pre- and post-harvest operations and treatments. It showed the alignment of the biochemical production of the various phytochemicals to the ecophysiology of the plant particularly the variety and ecotypes, micro climatic and edaphic conditions, and the crop growth patterns. The detailed aggregation of the different phytochemicals and the sites of synthesis in the plant revealed that the plant produces in excess of 36 phytochemical compounds that manifest its biological efficacy in over 16 different human physiological activity and medicine. Additionally, it revealed the many approaches to the postharvest physiology of the plant parts and the extension of the shelf life and quality for processing opportunities. Research limitations: There were no significant limitations to the conducting of this exercise as the literature was available and accesses to communicate with authors were easily facilitated by the internet. Directions for future research: This is the only review which collated the findings on the agro-ecology, phytochemistry, postharvest physiology and utilization of Moringa oleifera Lam., and how it is linked to the world of ethno-medicine, and pharmacology. Further research is necessary to determine the efficacy of extracts from all parts of the moringa plant as potential and promising eco-friendly alternatives to common chemicals used as novel food preservatives.

Keywords

Main Subjects

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