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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324529

Research Project: Evaluation and Maintenance of Flavor, Nutritional and Other Quality Attributes of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Title: Microgreens of brassicaceae: mineral composition and content of 30 varieties

item XIAO, ZHENLEI - University Of Maryland
item Codling, Eton
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny
item Nou, Xiangwu
item Lester, Gene
item WANG, QIN - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2016
Publication Date: 5/1/2016
Citation: Xiao, Z., Codling, E.E., Luo, Y., Nou, X., Lester, G.E., Wang, Q. 2016. Microgreens of brassicaceae: mineral composition and content of 30 varieties. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 49:87-93.

Interpretive Summary: Microgeens are a new specialty crop with increased popularity among health conscious consumers. Our previous studies have shown that microgreens are generally nutrient-dense. However, specific mineral profile of microgreens is lacking. Therefore, the scientists at Food Quality Laboratory and Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory, USDA-ARS, under took a major study that analyzed the concentrations of major macro- and micro-minerals of 30 species of microgreens from 10 genera of the Brassicaceae family. Results demonstrate that Brassicaceae microgreens are good sources of macroelements (e.g., potassium and calcium) and microelements (e.g., iron and zinc). These findings contribute significant scientific information to food composition database, and will benefit consumers and government agencies regarding nutrition profile of Brassicaceae microgreens.

Technical Abstract: The aim of the present study was to analyze the mineral content and concentration of 30 species of microgreens, representative 10 genera of the Brassicaceae family. Brassicaceae microgreens were assayed for concentrations of macroelements, including calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorous (P), sodium (Na), potassium (K), and of microelements, including copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn). Analyses were performed using an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer (ICP-OES). The macroelement concentrations (mg/100 g fresh weight) were 39-98 (Ca); 28-66 (Mg); 52-86 (P); 176-387 (K) and 19-68 (Na), in the 30 species of microgreens. In general, K was the most abundant macroelement ranging from 176-387 mg/100 g, followed by P, Ca, Mg, then Na. The concentrations (mg/100 g fresh weight) of microelements or trace elements were 0.47-0.84 (Fe), 0.22-0.51 (Zn), 0.041-0.130 (Cu), and 0.17-0.48(Mn). Among the trace elements, Fe was highest, followed by Zn, Mn, then Cu. This report is the first to document mineral content of commercially available Brassicaceae microgreens. Based upon our analysis of 30 species representing 10 Brassicaceae genera, our results demonstrate that microgreens are good sources of both macroelements (K and Ca) and trace elements (Fe and Zn). Consumption of microgreens could be a health-promoting strategy to meet dietary intake requirements for essential minerals beneficial to human health.