Locust bean is a perennial deciduous tree grown within a wide range of environment in many African societies. Fundamentally, locust bean is grown in Africa for it pods which contains pleasants pulps and very valuable seeds.
Although the products of the tree are not common in international trade, the seeds remains an essential good for local and regional trade especially in west Africa.
In Nigeria, locust seeds are one the oldest condiments for preparing local dishes including soup and sauce. Widely referred to as “Iru”, ” dawa dawa”, “Ogiri” in the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo speakers respectively, these seeds when fermented is used as condiment in various dishes.
Often regarded as the god of all condiments, the seeds are usually soaked and allowed ferment to get the pungent aroma it usually gives.
Locust bean consists of various nutritional compositions which provides health benefits to human body.
It helps provide treatment for impaired eyesight,stroke, Diarrhoea and hypertension. Locust bean aides food digestion and helps reduce cholesterol which could cause blockage of the blood vessels and other related heart diseases.
The fruit pulp of African locust bean is sweet to taste. It indicates the presence of natural sugar which is a potential energy source. It appealing yellow colour shows the presence of phyto-nutrient and carotenoids which are pertinent precursors of Vitamin A.
The seeds is with a proximate of 30.0% protein, 4.0% fat, 49.00% Carbohydrates,2.00% crude fiber, Lipid and calcium. For rural dwellers who cannot afford animal products because they are either to expensive or just unavailable, Locust bean serves as a substitute and also helps provide protein and Vitamin.