Spatial variation of nutritional content in Enhalus acoroides (L.f.) royle seeds and seed pods
Coastal and small islands communities generally have limited access to fresh vegetables. The tropical seagrass Enhalus acoroides tends to fruit during the rainy season, when sea conditions often prevent fishing. Coastal communities in several countries, including Indonesia, traditionally collect seagrass fruits for food and traditional remedies. This study measured levels of 6 key nutrients in Enhalus acoroides fruit (seeds and seedpods). Samples were collected from two sites where E. acoroides fruits are harvested (Bukukumba, Selayar), and one unharvested site (Makassar). Interaction between collection site and fruit part was significant for 3 nutrients (P, K, ß-carotene). Nutrient content differed significantly between fruit parts, with higher P and Zn levels in seeds than seedpods. Levels of Ca and Fe were significantly higher in fruit from the unharvested site (Makassar), most likely due to environmental conditions. The Ca, K, P and Fe levels in E. acoroides fruit compared favourably to common vegetables.