Minerals Source and Function

Did you as yourself about minerals source and function? Here is a detailed article about each of minerals source and function that i hope will answer to your questions and helps you learn more about healthy living.

Aluminium is low and variable in foods. Possibly essential, evidence not conclusive. Deficiency unknown. Leavening agent: as sodium aluminum sulfate (Na2SO4  Al2(SO4)3). Texture modifier.

Bromine – source Brominated flour. Not known to be essential to humans. Dough improver: KBrO3 improves baking quality of wheat flour.

Calcium – source dairy products, green leafy vegetables, tofu, fish bones.  Essential nutrient: deficiency leads to osteoporosis in later life. Texture modifier: forms gels with negatively charged macromolecules such as alginates, low-methoxyl pectins, soy proteins, caseins, etc. Firms canned vegetables when added to canning brine.

Copper – source Organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds. Essential nutrient: deficiency rare. Catalyst: lipid peroxidation, ascorbic acid oxidation, non-enzymatic oxidative browning. Colour modifier: may cause black discoloration in canned, cured meats. Enzyme cofactor: polyphenoloxidase. Texture stabiliser: stabilises egg-white foams.

Iodine – source Iodised salt, seafood, plants and meat from animals grown in areas where soil iodine is not depleted. Essential nutrient: deficiency produces goitre and cretinism. Dough improver: KIO3 improves baking quality of wheat flour.

Iron – source cereals, legumes, meat, contamination from iron utensils and soil, enriched foods. Essential nutrient: deficiency leads to anaemia, impaired immune response, reduced productivity, impaired cognitive development in children. Excessive iron stores may increase risk of cancer and heart disease. Catalyst: Fe2+ and Fe3+ catalyse lipid
peroxidation in foods. Colour modifier. Colour of fresh meat depends on valence of Fe in myoglobin and hemoglobin: Fe2+ is red, Fe3+ is brown. Forms green, blue or black complexes with polyphenolic compounds. Reacts with S2 to form black FeS in canned foods. Enzyme cofactor: lipoxygenase, cytochromes, ribonucleotide reductase, etc.

Magnesium – source Whole grains, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables. Essential nutrient: deficiency rare. Colour modifier: removal of Mg from chlorophyll changes colour from green to olive-brown.

Manganese – source Whole grains, fruits, vegetables. Essential nutrient: deficiency extremely rare. Enzyme cofactor: pyruvate carboxylase, superoxide dismutase.

Nickel – source Plant foods. Essential nutrient: deficiency in humans unknown. Catalyst: hydrogenation of vegetable oils – finely divided, elemental Ni is the most widely used catalyst for this process.

Phosphates – Ubiquitous. Essential nutrient: deficiency rare due to presence in virtually all foods. Acidulent: H3PO4 in soft drinks. Leavening acid: Ca(HPO4)2 is a fast-acting leavening acid. Moisture retention in meats: sodium tripolyphosphate improves moisture retention in cured meats. Emulsification aid: phosphates are used to aid emulsification in comminuted meats and in processed cheeses.

Potassium – source Fruits, vegetables, meats. Essential nutrient: deficiency rare. Salt substitute: KCl may be used as a salt substitute. May cause bitter flavour. Leavening agent: potassium acid tartrate.

Selenium – source Seafood, organ meats, cereals (depending on levels in soil). Essential nutrient: Keshan disease (endemic cardiomyopathy in China) was associated with selenium deficiency. Low selenium status may be associated with increased risk for cancer and heart disease. Enzyme cofactor: glutathione peroxidase.

Sodium – source Food additives, milk, low in most raw foods. Essential nutrient: deficiency is rare; excessive intakes may lead to hypertension. Flavour modifier: NaCl elicits the classic salty taste in foods. Preservative: NaCl may be used to lower water activity in foods. Leavening agents: many leavening agents are sodium salts, e.g. sodium bicarbonate,
sodium aluminium sulphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate.

Sulphur – Widely distributed. Essential nutrient: a constituent of the essential amino acids methionine and cystine. Sulphur amino acids may be limiting in some diets. Browning inhibitor: sulphur dioxide and sulphites inhibit both enzymatic and non-enzymatic browning. Widely used in dried fruits. Anti-microbial: prevents, controls microbial
growth. Widely used in wine making.
Zinc – source Meats, cereals Essential nutrient: deficiency produces loss of appetite, growth retardation, skin changes. Marginal deficiency exists in US and Europe but extent is unknown. Pronounced deficiency was documented in
populations in the Middle East. ZnO is used in the lining of cans for protein rich foods to lessen formation of black FeS during heating. Zn can be added to green beans to help stabilise the colour during canning.

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