Baobab food products: a review on their composition and nutritional value

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Mar;49(3):254-74. doi: 10.1080/10408390701856330.


Several authors have published about baobab food products. Data on macronutrients, micronutrients, amino acids, and fatty acids were collected from literature for pulp, leaves, seeds, and kernels of the baobab tree. The results show that baobab pulp is particularly rich in vitamin C; consumption of 40 g covers 84 to more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of pregnant women (19-30 years). The leaves are particularly rich in calcium (307 to 2640 mg/100 g dw), and they are known to contain good quality proteins with a chemical score of 0.81. The whole seeds and the kernels have a relatively high lipid content, 11.6 to 33.3 g/100 g dw and 18.9 to 34.7 g/100 g dw, respectively. The pulp and leaves exhibit antioxidant properties with a higher activity in the pulp than in the leaves. Reported nutrient contents of different baobab parts show a large variation, which may have arisen from various factors. Three recommendations are given for future research: 1. More attention should be given to accuracy and precision of analytical methods, 2. Research about digestibility and bioavailability of baobab products is needed, 3. The effect of storage and processing on the nutritional value of baobab products needs to be assessed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adansonia / chemistry*
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Digestion
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Food Analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / analysis*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Species Specificity


  • Amino Acids
  • Fatty Acids
  • Minerals
  • Plant Oils
  • Plant Proteins