Study Summary: Microgreens of Brassicaceae
Introduction: Microgreens are young seedlings of vegetables and herbs, harvested just after the cotyledons (first leaves) have fully developed. They are gaining popularity due to their dense nutrient content. Essential mineral elements like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc are crucial for human health. Deficiencies in these elements can lead to various health issues. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of these minerals, and increased consumption has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases.
Objective: This study analysed the mineral composition of 30 varieties of microgreens from the Brassicaceae family. These microgreens represent 10 species within 6 genera. The concentrations of macroelements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium) and microelements (copper, iron, manganese, zinc) were measured using a precise technique called inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometry (ICP OES).
Potassium was the most abundant macroelement in microgreens, followed by phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Among microelements, iron was found in the highest concentrations, followed by zinc, manganese, and copper.
The study indicates that microgreens are rich sources of both macroelements (such as potassium and calcium) and microelements (like iron and zinc), which are essential for human health.
Implications: Consuming microgreens could be a beneficial dietary strategy to meet the body's requirements for essential minerals. Incorporating a variety of microgreens into the diet can contribute to overall health and wellness.
Conclusion: The analysis of mineral elements in microgreens from the Brassicaceae family showed significant concentrations of essential macro and microelements. These findings highlight the potential of microgreens as nutrient-dense additions to a healthy diet.
Acknowledgments: The study was conducted with the support of Fresh Origins and technical assistance from Ms. Mebrat Gesese. Funding was provided by USDA-ARS project no. 8042-43440-005D.
The full publication can be found here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157516300448 including details on methodology and specific mineral concentrations.
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