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Micronutrient rich natural products for health Natural Sources of Micronutrients . K. Madhavan Nair, PhD Scientist E Micronutrient research group Department of Biophysics National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR). Conference on Micronutrient Fortification of Foods:
K. Madhavan Nair, PhD
Micronutrient research group
Department of Biophysics
National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR)
Conference on Micronutrient Fortification of Foods:
Science, Application & Management
7-8 January 2011
Contain different types of food in such quantities and proportions that the need for energy, protein, minerals and vitamin is not only met, but a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.
Food groups and balanced diet and RDA of micronutrients for a reference man
CEREALS & MILLETS (400g)
PULSES & LEGUMES (80g)
VEGETABLES & FRUITS (400g)
MEAT, FISH AND POULTRY (60g)
MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS (300ml)
FATS & OILS (30g)
(ICMR Nutrient requirement and recommended dietary allowance for Indians, Edition 2010)
Contains the micronutrients
Enhances utilization of the micronutrient
Animal foods like red meat also improve absorption of micronutrients from plant sources
Non Enzymatic Methods
These improve nutrient availability and/or utilization
Functional foods (Prebiotics and Probiotics)
Dietary modifications: Examples of food sources that promote micronutrient bioavailability
The potency of 100g of cooked meat in enhancing iron absorption has been graded as equal to that of 100mg ascorbic acid.
A 30 g addition of most fruits that are moderate to high in ascorbic acid is effective in increasing the iron availability in typical wheat based meals. Exceptions are the ones, which have high levels of polyphenols.
The experimental group
100 g guava fruit with the lunch and dinner meals, ascorbic acid of 212 mg per meal, molar ratio of 25:1.
19 g/L increase in hemoglobin from initial 107g/L to final 129g/L
3 g/L in control group from 110 to 113 L.
Seshadri J Human Nutr Appl Nutr 39A: 151-54, 1985.
What is striking is that natural foods have the capacity to increase iron absorption several fold especially in iron deplete subjects.
Nair KM and Iyengar V . Iron content, bioavailability & factors affecting iron status of Indians. Indian J Med Res 130, November 2009, pp 634-645
Preformed vitamin A 70-90%.
Pro carotenoids varies with fat intake, type of food and its preparation.
Purified beta carotene in oil – 2 g will yields 1 g of retinol (2:1 ratio)
In food 6:1– 12:1, 8:1.
IOM, 2000, ICMR 2010
Red palm oil (RPO), derived from the mesocarp of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), is rich source of β-carotene .
Serum retinol concentrations in schoolchildren before and after supplementation with red palm oil or vitamin A
Rukmini C. Red palm oil to combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. Food Nutr Bull 1994;15:126–9.
Improving Micronutrient Content In Plant Foods : Biotechnical Approaches
The International Potato Center , South West and Central Asia
Spirulina - food produced primarily from two species of cyan bacteria: arthrospira platensis, and arthrospira maxima .
62% amino acid content
70-170mg/100g a good source of β-carotene
127–244 µg / 100 g exceptionally high vitamin B-12 content, though its bioavailability is debated .
Non Food Sources
Natural sources of micronutrients are abundant.
Great potential for converting them into products either to increase the micronutrient intake or their bioavailability