Background: Ofe-Owerri is an expensive traditional soup in Nigeria, prepared using Oha
(Pterocarpus soyauxi), Ukazi (Gnetum africanum), Uziza (Piper guineense) and cocoyam (Colocasia
esculanta) as the major vegetables. The soup is highly celebrated for its traditional therapeutic and
Objective: In this study, we assessed the proximate and mineral components, sensory and microbial
qualities of the Ofe-Owerri soup in a cooked and packaged form. Antioxidant status and phytoconstituents
of the major vegetables of the soup were also determined.
Methods: Established methods were used as previously reported in the literature.
Results: Calcium was the most concentrated mineral, whereas lead was absent. High moisture
(63.45%), crude protein (14.60%) and fat (13.27%) were found in the soup. The major ingredients
(vegetables) used to prepare Ofe-Owerri contain phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds and
saponins, and showed potent antioxidant activity in various in vitro models, with uziza displaying the
highest scavenging activity against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. The vegetables
exhibit reductive capacity against oxidants, and chelation of metallic free radicals. There was no significant
difference (p≤0.05) in the sensory parameters of Ofe-Owerri soup kept frozen in foil and
plastic containers, respectively, for 21 days.
Conclusion: This study showed that Ofe-Owerri is a good dietary source of nutrients and possesses
phytoconstituents with potential beneficial health effects. When properly packaged, the soup can be
stored safely for up to three weeks.