Chemical Composition of a Tropical Fern Ceratoptelus Cornlita (Parkeriaceae, Pteridophyta) in Nigeria
Extracts from some fern species have been found to be useful in fortifying livestock and fish feeds to enhance production especially in peasant communities. The chemical composition of Ceratoptc.ris cornzltn has not been documented insNigeria. This study was thus designed to determine its suitability for use in fortifying fish feed by analysing the nutrient and anti-nutrient contents of its dimorphic fronds separately. One kg of sterile and fertile fronds of C.cornuta were collected, washed using distilled water and oven dried at 40 OC for about 96 hours. The dried samples were milled and analysed for proximate minerals, cyanide and oxalate analyses in triplicates. Results of the nutrient and anti-nutrient analyses show that both the sterile and the fertile fronds of C. cornuta can be used in aquaculture. The crude protein (4.22-5.28 g/100 g), moisture (87-91.00 g/100 g), carbohydrate (3.12-7.40 g/100 g), magnesium (23.55-194.65 mg/100 g), calcium (0.03 mg/100 g), potassium (0.17 mg/100 g), sodium (0.17 mg/100 g), silver (50.0 mg/100 g), cobalt (3.75-4.45 mg/100 g), lead (53.5-172.5 mg/100 g), copper (60.45-61.0 mg/100 g), manganese (15.65 mg/100 g), arsenium (50 mg/100 g), cadmium (3.75-4.50 rng/100 g), iron (430.00-537.45 mg/100 g) and selenium (106.83-195.45 mg(100 g) contents are considerably high. The anti-nutritional oxalate (0.861.38 mg/100 g) and cyanide (0.88-1.16 mg/100 g) are low and fall within the safe and acceptable limits as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Thus, extract from these fronds can be incorporated into livestocks and fish meals.