Elemental composition and nutritional value of Araucaria angustifolia seeds from subtropical Brazil
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Consumed by populations in South America, Araucaria angustifolia seeds have received little study regarding elemental composition and nutritional value. Thirty-five seed sites from subtropical Brazil were sampled and seed concentrations of C, N, K, Ca, Mg, P, Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, Mo, Ni, Co, Cr, Ba, and Cd were determined. The highest concentration of N was observed in samples from regions with Cfa climate (humid subtropical, oceanic climate, without dry season with hot summer) and igneous rock, which was superior to regions with Cfb climate (humid subtropical, oceanic climate, without dry season with temperate summer) and metamorphic rock. Seeds can be a source of nutrients: K (11.8 g kg−1), P (4.1 g kg−1), Mn (9.1 mg kg−1), Cu (7.2 mg kg−1), Mo (0.93 mg kg−1), and Cr (0.65 mg kg−1). Values for Ba (0.93 mg kg−1) and Cd (0.19 mg kg−1) indicated no risk to human health. This study expands knowledge regarding the elemental composition of A. angustifolia. Results indicate that these seeds have nutritional value, and their consumption can be a good strategy to improve overall human nutrition in this region of South America.
KeywordsRecommended dietary allowances Trace elements Environmental variation Conifers
The authors are grateful to Sérgio Mudrovitsch de Bittencourt (Emater), Oromar Bertol (Emater), Gervazia Zimmer, Elaine Inês Zimmer, Marisane Antunes, Rosemari Poggere, Michael Kreusch, Tiago Budziak, Gasparina Mendes França Buratto, Jacy Buratto and Delmar Santin for help in seeds collection and to Elidiane da Silva for design of study area map.
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