Zinc Content of Cereals and Pulses in Delhi


Affiliations

  • Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi,, Department of Food and Nutrition, Delhi, 110016, India
  • Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi,, Department of Biochemistry, Delhi, 110016, India

Abstract

Severe zinc deficiency is rare in India but mild to moderate deficiency could be widespread. There is little data on zinc intakes based on nutritional assessment methods, mainly because the Indian Food Composition Tables that were available until recently gave incomplete zinc content values in foods. A pilot study was, therefore, undertaken to assess the zinc content of cereals and pulses consumed in Delhi and to compare the values with those given in the latest Indian Food Composition Tables. Four hundred and twenty six samples of twenty three varieties of cereals / cereal products and fifteen varieties of pulses, collected from wholesale suppliers in the north, south, east and west zones of Delhi, were analyzed for zinc using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The concentration of zinc in a given cereal or pulse varied widely between the different zones. Cereals like pearl millet, Italian millet, dry maize, whole wheat and its flour and pulses like roasted Bengal gram and dry peas, Bengal gram dhal and lentil dhal were identified as rich sources of zinc. The mean zinc content in most of the foods analysed in the laboratory showed significant differences when compared with the mean values for cereals and pulses reported in the Indian Food Composition Tables given by the National Institute of Nutrition - Indian Council of Medical Research in 2017. A region specific food composition database is urgently needed as there seem to be huge differences in the zinc values of cereals and pulses consumed in Delhi as compared to the average values representative of all states given in the latest food composition database.

Keywords

Zinc, cereals, pulses, food composition tables, nutritive value

Subject Collection

Delhi

Subject Discipline

Nutrition; Food; Home Science

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