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ABSTRACT

Alfalfa seeds were germinated for 72 and 120 hr in the absence and presence of light. Reduced ascorbic acid, riboflavin, iron, amino acid and proximate analysis of ungerminated alfalfa seeds and sprouted alfalfa seeds were conducted to determine the effect of germination conditions on the nutrient composition. Sprouts were found to have slightly smaller concentrations of protein and ash than seeds, whereas fat content was significantly reduced in sprouts as compared to seeds. Moisture content was found to increase consistently with increased sprouting time. Reduced ascorbic acid content was greater in the sprouts grown in the light for either growth period and during germination and sprouting increased to 3-4 times the concentration found in the seeds. Riboflavin concentration increased by as much as 3 times. Essential amino acid content was significantly higher in 72 hr sprouts than in the seeds. Although claims for the superb nutritional worth of alfalfa sprouts appear to be unfounded, they could serve as a good dietary source of several nutrients.