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Anchote (Coccinia abyssinica) accessions from Ethiopia were tested for the presence of major phytochemicals using qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative tests were performed for 12 phytochemical compounds with 6 solvent extracts and water using standard methods. Quantitative analysis for important secondary metabolites included total phenols, total flavonoids, crude saponins and beta-carotene. Of the 12 phytochemicals tested, five compounds showed positive results for all the seven extracts in the tubers, whereas only two phytochemicals responded positively in the leaves. The water extract of anchote showed positive results for 11 of the phytochemicals while n-butanol showed positive results for six in both the tuber and leaf parts. The water extract also had the highest phytochemicals in both the tuber and leaf parts when compared to the other solvent extracts. Anchote leaf had the highest total phenol and flavonoid contents followed by the fruit and the least concentration was in the tuber for all the accessions. The leaf contained the highest percentage of saponins (27.65%) while tuber had the lowest (14.65%). The β-carotene content in five accessions of anchote leaf ranged from 25.9±0.03 to 35.2±0.16 µg/g. Anchote is popular in the Oromo and non-Oromo tribes in Ethiopia, because of its medicinal role. Owing to the various phytochemical compounds present in the plant further screening and identification of its active compounds is recommended.
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