Exploring Mineral Buildup in Wild and Farmed Dried Fruits

Jenn Hoskins
6th April, 2024

Exploring Mineral Buildup in Wild and Farmed Dried Fruits

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at King Saud University found varying levels of essential nutrients in different dried fruits
  • Black nightshade and yellow hawthorn had notably high levels of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • The research highlights the importance of growing fruits in environments free from heavy metal contamination for health benefits
Understanding the nutritional content of fruits is vital for assessing their health benefits. A recent study by researchers at King Saud University[1] has shed light on the moisture and biogenic element quantities in various wild and cultivated dried fruits, which are often consumed for their health-promoting properties. The study focused on macroelements such as potassium (K), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg), which are essential for various bodily functions. For instance, potassium is crucial for maintaining proper heart function and blood pressure, while calcium is necessary for bone health. The research revealed that the levels of these elements vary significantly among different types of fruits. Potassium levels were found to range from 5212.77 mg/kg in white myrtle to a remarkable 25550.60 mg/kg in black nightshade. Phosphorus content also showed variation, with the lowest in black myrtle at 949.08 mg/kg and the highest in black nightshade at 4420.75 mg/kg. Calcium and magnesium followed a similar pattern, with the lowest amounts in plum and the highest in yellow hawthorn and black nightshade, respectively. Iron (Fe) and boron (B), two other important elements, were detected in varying amounts across the fruit samples. Iron is essential for blood production, and boron plays a role in bone health and cognitive function. The study found iron levels ranging from 2.69 mg/kg in black myrtle to 60.13 mg/kg in cherry, while boron ranged from 3.76 mg/kg in black myrtle to 76.25 mg/kg in sour cherry. Comparing these findings with previous research[2], it is evident that wild fruits can be significant sources of essential elements. For example, wild strawberry was previously noted for its high levels of P, K, and Mg, which aligns with the current study's findings that fruits like black nightshade and yellow hawthorn also contain high levels of these nutrients. Moreover, the earlier study highlighted the presence of heavy metals like arsenic (As) in some wild fruits, which underscores the importance of monitoring and managing soil and environmental conditions to ensure the safety of these natural food sources. Heavy metals in the environment, as discussed in another earlier study[3], can have long-term detrimental effects on ecosystems and human health. The accumulation of these metals in food webs emphasizes the need for effective management and remediation strategies, such as phytoremediation, which uses plants to clean contaminated soils. The methodology used in the main study is critical for accurately determining the content of essential and non-essential elements in food. Earlier research[4] on nuts highlighted the importance of digestion procedures and analytical methods like ICP-OES for obtaining reliable data, which is also applicable to analyzing dried fruits. Overall, the study from King Saud University contributes to our understanding of the nutritional value of dried fruits and highlights the significant differences in macroelement content among various types. It also underscores the potential health benefits of these fruits, provided that they are grown in environments free from heavy metal contamination. This research not only informs dietary choices but also supports the need for environmental stewardship to ensure the safety and nutritional quality of natural food sources.



Main Study

1) Investigation of accumulation of element contents in some wild and cultivated dried fruits.

Published 3rd April, 2024


Related Studies

2) Quantitative determination of macro and micro elements and heavy metals accumulated in wild fruits analyzed by ICP-OES method.


3) Transfer of heavy metals through terrestrial food webs: a review.


4) Use of fractional factorial design for optimization of digestion procedures followed by multi-element determination of essential and non-essential elements in nuts using ICP-OES technique.


Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙