JEP  Vol.3 No.7 , July 2012
Trace Element Concentrations in Some Traditional Diets Consumed in Selected Parts of Eastern Province of Kenya
ABSTRACT
Dietary quality is vital in maintaining sound nutritional status. The ecological conditions thus influence the type of diets and their nutritional quality. The purpose of this study was to determine the trace element/mineral content of some of the commonly consumed diets in Machakos, Kitui, Makueni and Mwingi districts. Decorticated maize, beans and finger millet flour samples were purchased from the local markets. For each category, a total of ten samples were collected from each district. The samples were put in plastic bags, sealed and transported to the laboratory in the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, University of Nairobi for preparation and analysis. The cooking of the samples was carried out according to local traditional methods. In the decorticated samples, mean copper concentrations were observed to be below 20 μg·g-1; mean zinc concentrations ranged from 34 to 63 μg·g-1 and mean manganese concentrations were in a similar range of 34 to 78 μg·g-1. The mean iron concentrations were significantly high with a range of 161 μg·g-1 to 287 μg·g-1. A similar trend was observed in the beans where the mean copper concentrations varied from 11 to 33 μg·g-1, mean zinc concentrations ranged from a low value of 24 μg·g-1 to a high value of 35 μg·g-1, mean manganese concentrations varied from 33 μg·g-1 to 98 μg·g-1 and the mean iron concentrations ranged from 227 μg·g-1 to 647 μg·g-1. The cooked Muthokoi samples from Machakos district had relatively high mean trace element concentrations: manganese—109 μg·g-1; iron—280 μg·g-1; copper—19 μg·g-1; and zinc—41 μg·g-1. The only exception was mean iron concentrations which were extremely high in samples from Mwingi District where the concentrations varied from 73 μg·g-1 to 1597 μg·g-1. In finger millet flour, the mean manganese concentrations varied from 95 to 290 μg·g-1, whereas the mean iron concentrations ranged from 127 μg·g-1 to 259 μg·g-1. In contrast, the mean copper and zinc concentrations were low in comparison to the manganese and iron concentrations. As a whole, the mean copper concentrations in the diets are significantly low compared to the other three trace elements. However, the total content is not necessarily a reflection of the amount assimilated in the body. Finger millet was found to be an excellent source of manganese and iron whereas beans were observed to be good sources of iron. All the food crops were observed to poor sources of copper.

Cite this paper
D. M. Maina, L. W. Njenga, J. M. Onyari and B. N. Kyalo, "Trace Element Concentrations in Some Traditional Diets Consumed in Selected Parts of Eastern Province of Kenya," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 617-623. doi: 10.4236/jep.2012.37075.
References
[1]   B. A. Underwood, “Perspectives from Micronutrient Malnutrition Elimination/Eradication Programmes. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR),” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vol. 48, Suppl. 1, 1999, pp. 37-42.

[2]   K. Weinberger, “The Impact of Micronutrients on Labor Productivity: Evidence from Rural India,” Proceedings of the 25th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), 16-22 August 2003, Durban.

[3]   I. Darnron-Hill, P. Webb, P. W. J. Harvey, J. M. Hunt, N. Dalmiya, M. Chopra, M. J. Ball, M. W. Bloem and de B. Benoist, “Micronutrient Deficiencies and Gender: Social and Economic Costs,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No. 5, 2005, pp. 1198S-1205S.

[4]   WHO, “The World Health Report,” Geneva, 2002.

[5]   B. Maziya-Dixon, J. G. Kling, A. Menkir and A. Dixon, “Genetic Variation in Total Carotene, Iron, and Zinc Contents of Maize and Cassava Genotypes,” Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2000, pp. 419-422.

[6]   S. K. Vasal, “Quality Protein Maize Story. Improving Human Nutrition Through Agriculture: The Role of International Agriculture Research,” Proceedings of a Workshop Organized by the International National Food Policy Research Institute, 5-7 October 1999, Los Banos, pp. 771-778.

[7]   S. Fairweather-Tait, and R. F. Hurrell, “Bioavailability of Minerals and Trace Elements,” Nutrition Research Reviews, Vol. 9, 1996, pp. 295-324. doi:10.1079/NRR19960016

[8]   S. Hemalatha, K. Platel and K. Srinivasan, “Zinc and Iron and Their Bioaccessibility in Cereals and Pulses Consumed in India,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 102, No.4, 2007, pp. 1328-1336. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.07.015

[9]   C. O. Edeogu, C. E. Ekuwa, A. N. C. Okaka, F. C. Ezerou, C. J. Uneke and S. O. I. Ehom, “Public Health Significance of Metals Concentration in Soils, Water, Stable Foods in Abakaliki South Eastern Nigeria,” Trends and Applied Science Research, Vol. 2, No. 5, 2007, pp. 439-444. doi:10.3923/tasr.2007.439.444

[10]   R. W. Munene, “Characterization by Energy Dispersion X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) Analysis of Interspecific Variation in Trace Element Micronutrient Density in Germplasm of Selected Indigenous Vegetables, Cereals and Fruits,” Master Thesis, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, 2005.

[11]   J. K. Okoth, “Bioavailability of Iron and Zinc in Some Commonly Consumed Diets in Kenya,” Master Thesis, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kiambu County, 2005.

[12]   P. R. S. Mamiro, J. Van Camp, S. M. Mwikya and A. Huyghebaert, “In Vitro Extractability of Ca, Fe, and Zn in Finger Millet and Kidney Beans during Processing,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 66, No. 9, 2001, pp. 1271-1275. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2001.tb15200.x

[13]   U. Anthony and T. S. Chondra, “Antinutrient Reduction and Enhancement in Protein, Starch and Mineral Availability in Fermented Flour of Finger Millet,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 46, No. 7, 1998, pp. 2578-2582. doi:10.1021/jf9706639

[14]   B, Sandstrom, “Dietary Pattern and Zinc,” In: C. F. Mills, Ed., Zinc in Human Biology, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1989, pp. 350-363.

[15]   A. P. Kabata and H. Pendias, “Trace Elements in Soils and Plants,” 2004.

[16]   R. D. J. Sankara and Y, G. Deosthale “Mineral Composition, Ionisable Iron and Soluble Zinc in Malted Grain of Pearl Millet and Ragi,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1983, pp. 217-223. doi:10.1016/0308-8146(83)90104-8

[17]   D. E. Baker and J. P. Sneft Copper, “Heavy Metals in Soils,” 2nd Edition, Blackie Academic and Professional, Glasgow, 1995.

 
 
Top