16 March 2015. A recently published paper documents the nutritional composition and value of foods obtained from forest trees – ‘moabi’ fruits and oil (Baillonella toxisperma), ‘Mvout’ fruits (Trichoscypha abut) and the seeds of ‘ebaye’ (Pentaclethra macrophylla).
Foods gathered from the forest are important sources of nutrients and energy for millions of people in Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo Republic and DR Congo.
Foods from these three species were found to make important contributions to meeting daily nutritional requirements. The seeds of ‘ebaye’ (P. macrophylla) has higher fat content than soybeans. These forest foods also contribute iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamins C and E, complementing staple crops produced in agricultural fields. The authors of the paper call for promoting increased consumption of these foods and broader dissemination of information regarding their nutritional and phytochemical composition.
The research was carried out within the ‘Beyond Timber’ project, which aims to produce information, tools and guidelines for government agencies and timber producers to safeguard access by local people to non-timber resources, even within timber concessions.