Nutritional Testing & Analysis – Minerals

Nutritional Testing & Analysis - Minerals
Nutritional Testing & Analysis – Minerals

Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic elements, with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic structure. More than 50 chemical elements are found in the human body, which are required for growth, repair and regulation of vital body functions. Many of the essential minerals are widely distributed in foods, and most people eating a balanced diet are likely to receive adequate intakes.

The major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and magnesium. The trace elements are required in quantities of less than a few milligrams per day e.g. iron, iodine, fluoride, zinc, copper, cobalt, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, nickel, tin, silicon and vanadium. There are some trace contaminants with no known function e.g. lead, mercury, barium, boron and aluminium. Te daily requirement of minerals by the human body varies from grams for sodium and potassium, through milligrams per day (e.g. iron, zinc), to micrograms per day for many of the trace elements.

The clinically relevant minerals, their sources, recommended dietary allowances (RDA) are tabulated below.

MineralSourcesRecommended dietary allowance (RDA)Comments
CalciumMilk and milk products, bony fish, green vegetables, beans700 mgDeficiency can cause osteomalacia. Excess can cause constipation and toxicity
PhosphorusMilk, cereals, bread, meat550 mgDeficiency causes hypophosphatemia and muscle weakness
MagnesiumWhole grain foods, nuts300 mg (men)
270 mg (women)
Plays a regulatory role in hormone action
IronLiver, meat, vegetables, wholemeal bread8.7 mg
14.8 mg (women <50 yrs)
Deficiency causes anemia. Excess causes hemochromatosis and hemosiderosis
ZincRed meat, dairy products, wholemeal bread9.5 mg (men)
7 mg (women)
Deficiency can cause dwarfism and hypogonadism
IodineMilk and dairy products140 µgDeficiency causes goitre
SeleniumFish, wheat grown in selenium-rich soils75 µg (men)
60 µg (women)
Deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, cardiomyopathy (children), myopathy (adults). Excess causes selenosis
CopperLiver, bread, cereals, vegetables1.2 mgDeficiency occurs only in children. Causes microcytic hypochromic anemia, neutropenia, retarded growth, weak bones. Excess causes Wilson’s disease
FluorideFluoride treated drinking water, tea0.5 mg/kgPrevents dental caries. Excess causes fluorosis
PotassiumDried and fresh fruits, potatoes, coffee, vegetables, milk3.5 gDeficiency can lead to hypokalemia
SodiumTable salt, bread, processed foods1.6 gDeficiency can lead to hyponatremia

Adapted from Davidson’s Principles & Practice of Medicine, 21st Edition, 2010. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

There are certain national and international regulations for the intake of minerals in food items. For example, the ICMR Report (2009), published by the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad provides the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of minerals for various age-groups of the Indian population.

As per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations, 2011 all packaged food products must be clearly labeled with all the nutritional information such as the content of Minerals, Vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates etc. withing the specified limits. A regular testing of the food articles is recommended so that food safety norms could effectively be implemented.

We have expertise in testing and analyzing the food items as per FSSAI’s labeling compliance. Our laboratory services have been identified as one of the 5 best testing labs in India.

We have a diversified team of trained professionals including scientists and experts for the estimation of mineral content of various types of foodstuffs. We have the latest advanced technical equipment and testing services for the estimation of minerals.

Our well-equipped laboratory is certified by NABL, FSSAI, BIS, CDSCO, ISM&H, APEDA, EIC/EIA, and AGMARK.

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