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Quantification of fatty acid and mineral levels of selected seeds, nuts, and oils in Ghana

Adjepong, Mary, Valentini, Kelly, Pickens, C. Austin, Li, Wei, Appaw, William, Fenton, Jenifer
Subtropical plant science 2017 v.59 pp. 43-49
Cyperus esculentus, alpha-linolenic acid, cashew nuts, diet, flour, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, grains, growth and development, iron, linoleic acid, mineral content, minerals, nutrient deficiencies, oils, peanuts, roots, seeds, soybeans, zinc, Ghana
Fatty acids (FA) and minerals play crucial roles in growth and development. However, Ghanaian diets consist mainly of starchy roots and cereals, with intake of fats and many minerals below recommended levels. The purpose of this study was to quantify FA and mineral levels of seeds, nuts, and oils in Ghana that are available but not usually incorporated in the diets. Seven seeds and five oils collected in Ghana were analyzed for FA and mineral composition by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy, respectively. Soybean was found to contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (3.77mg/g). Linoleic acid (LA) was higher in peanuts (65.8mg/g), agushie seeds (102mg/g) and agushie flour (122mg/g). Agushie seeds (88.4mg/g), agushie flour (111mg/g) and soybean (78.4mg/g) had appreciable levels of iron. In addition, both agushie seeds and flour contained high amounts of zinc. Taken together, these data indicate that several Ghanaian seeds, nuts, and oils are high in FA, including essential fatty acids, and minerals. Future studies should investigate increased incorporation of palm oil, soybeans, peanuts, cashew nuts, tigernuts, agushie seeds and/or flour into Ghanaian diets in areas where nutrient deficiencies are prevalent.