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Effects of general soil fertilization with sodium selenate in Finland on the selenium content of meat and fish

Ekholm, P., Ylinen, M., Koivestoinen, P., Varo, P.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1990 v.38 no.3 pp. 695-698
meat, fish, selenium, mineral content, Finland
All agricultural multinutrient fertilizers in Finland have been supplemented with sodium selenate since fall 1984 in order to raise the selenium (Se) content of Finnish foods. Se contents of key foods have been monitored on a regular basis since the program began to chart the effect of the intervention. In the present study, samples of beef and bovine liver, pork and porcine liver, broiler, venison, reindeer meat, and eight species of fish were analyzed for Se by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The Se fertilization has clearly increased the Se content of meat and edible offals but not of fish or wild animals. The mean Se values (mg/kg of dry matter) in 1988 were as follows: beef, 0.60; bovine liver, 1.30; pork fillet, 0.92; porcine liver, 2.30; broiler, 0.78. The present average Se intake in Finland is 3-4 times as high as that in the mid-1970s (0.11 vs 0.03 mg/day). Meat, edible offals, and fish contributed about 52% of the Se intake in 1988, as compared with about 63% in 1975.