Lowell Dilworth, Kesi Brown, Racquel Wright, Mitchelle Oliver, Sannette Hall and Helen Asemota
In light of reported micronutrient deficiencies and declining overall food quality, nine staple foods were assessed for minerals, antioxidants and some bioactive constituents. Minerals were assessed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, antioxidants by the DPPH radical scavenging method, polyphenols, flavonoids and IP6 by standard methods. Iron and zinc concentrations were highest in dasheen samples; yellow yam and dasheen recorded highest calcium values; while the highest copper concentrations were recorded in potato and water yam samples. Water yam and dasheen samples recorded significantly higher antioxidant activities compared to other samples (95.83 ± 0.21 and 93.41 ± 0.60% DPPH inhibition respectively). St. Vincent yam, water yam and pumpkin displayed significantly higher flavonoid content than other samples with values of 390.65 ± 40.63, 410.52 ± 20.22 and 345.23 ± 15.81 CE/100 mg respectively. IP6 concentrations in dasheen (2925.67 ± 175.33 μg/g) and St. Vincent yam (2900 ± 100.67 μg/g) were significantly higher than other crops.This is a comprehensive study of minerals, antioxidants and bioactives in important tropical staples. The data is important to policymakers in food and nutraceutical industries. Results argue well for increased consumption of staples high in minerals and bioactives owing to their positive effects on inflammatory disorders and overall health.
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