Zinc in Soils, Crops, and Meals in the Niger Inland Delta, Mali
2009 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, Vol. 38, no 6, 334-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Zinc deficiency is a problem in developing countries and not least so in Africa. This concerns both agriculture and human food provision. Zinc deficiency in soils may severely decrease yields, whereas insufficient zinc in food intake primarily affects the immune defense, notably in children. The present investigation concerned zinc availability in soils, crops, and food in the Niger inland delta in Mali. Agricultural soils are largely deficient in plant-available zinc, however, soils in close vicinity to habitation show elevated zinc concentrations. The zinc concentrations in crops are low; in rice, they are about half of reference ranges. Zinc intake assessed from a number of sampled meals was about half the recommended requirement. When zinc concentration is higher phytate was also high, which made the zinc less available. In spite of a recorded sufficient intake of iron, anemia is common and is most likely because of the high phytate concentration in the cereal-dominated diet. Increasing zinc and iron availability would be possible through the use of malting, fermentation, and soaking in food preparation. Finally, in the long run, any trace element deficiency, especially that of zinc in agricultural soils needs to be amended by addition of appropriate amounts in commercial fertilizers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 38, no 6, 334-338 p.
Other Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-32331DOI: 10.1579/08-R-485.1ISI: 000270193300007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77649243582OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-32331DiVA: diva2:410103
QC 20110412. QC 201202112011-04-122011-04-122012-02-11Bibliographically approved