Assessment of the essential and toxic elements in complementary foods (unga wa lishe) in Tanzania for children under five using edxrf spectroscopy

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Date
2014
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
In this study elemental composition of commonly used complementary foods (Unga wa Lishe) for children in Tanzania was carried out in order to analyse the essential and toxic elements. The complementary foods consumed by children under age of five were purchased from shops in Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Arusha and analysed using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Results obtained showed that samples collected from Dar es Salaam had significantly (p<0.05) higher mean concentration values of Mg, Al, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn than the samples collected from Moshi and Arusha. The results of this study were referenced to the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) values for 6-12 months old children. Based on these comparisons, all the food samples studied in this work contained less essential elements than expected from the RNI values of (11.6, 8.3, 0.56 and 500) mg/day for Fe, Zn, Cu and Ca respectively. On the other hand, the concentrations of the toxic elements Ni and As were higher than the Maximum Tolerable Limits (MTL) of 0.2 μg/g and 11 μg/g set by IOM and WHO, respectively. It was therefore recommended that infants and young children fed on complementary foods produced in Tanzania should be breastfed for two years and be given other animal based foods to enhance the absorption of the essential elements. Furthermore, the study advises the authorities to adopt the methods used by other African countries to fortify the foods with the recommended essential elements as a step to reduce mineral malnutrition to infants and young children in Tanzania.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF TX543.P37)
Keywords
Food, Analysis, Children, Fluorescence spectroscopy, Tanzania
Citation
Paschal, C.(2014) Assessment of the essential and toxic elements in complementary foods (unga wa lishe) in Tanzania for children under five using edxrf spectroscopy.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.