Leucaena as a Protein Source

The ubiquitous weedy form of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit is capable of producing 1,000-2,000 kg/ha/yr of good quality protein. Its production capacity responds to elevation, rainfall, and soil type in addition to imposed management practices. The cultivars 'El Salvador' and 'Peru' produce 1,000-4,000 kg/ha/yr under similar treatments. Leucaena protein is high in nutritional quality. Amino acids are present in well-balanced proportions. Information from tropical and subtropical regions is sparse as to location and extent it is used as human food. Leaves, flowers, fruiting pods and seeds at various stages of maturity are consumed either cooked or uncooked. Various plant parts are eaten separately or as components in salads or soups. Highly proteinaceous foods such as "botok," "toge," and "tempeh lamtoro" are made from leucaena. Leucaena is of limited value as a food source in widely scattered regions of the tropics and subtropics. Despite the known detrimental effects of leucaena, its consumption as food probably exceeds that which is recorded in the literature. Leucaena is unsurpassed as a renewable source of high quality protein for food and feed.

Issue Date:
Oct 21 1984
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-08-09, last modified 2018-01-23

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