Some of our ancestors’ foods are noticeably lacking in modern diets and the human biology has not evolved significantly different ( Broadhurst ,1994).Speculation is that, plethora of diet related disorders and / or non- communicable diseases could be linked to human gastrointestinal track evolutionary factors. Despite efficacy of supplements in treating degenerative diseases, minerals are often absorbed more efficiently by the body if supplied in foods rather than as supplements ( British Nutrition Foundation 2015). Consequently, data driven promotion of minerals contribution from legumes using African yam beans, an indigenous crop that was in our ancestor’s food,threaten with extinction ( Porter 1992,267–275; Amoatey et al. 2000, 53–60) can foster nutrition security. The specific challenge is to generate data on African yam beans mineral contribution in the dietary vis-a-vis the nutritionally dense soya beans. About 3g of each were oven dried at 110O C and samples reduced to 2µm diameter by crushing. Further pulverised because of inhomogeneity of samples and transferred to the sample compartment of an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) SpectroXepos model 03STD Gas serial Spectro-11001700, mixer mill MM400. They were then screened for their elemental composition. Results were calculated automatically as the necessary sample details were computed in the software. Fifty one ( 51) elements were quantified in each sample. Twenty five (25) in their free- state and twenty six (26) existed as oxides. These oxides, 16 were minerals and those in their free state, 7 were minerals. Therefore 23 minerals were obtained from AYB. Soya beans had same complement of predominant elements (≥ 100ppm) and both contained all known essential minerals. Elements in trace amount (≤ 20ppm) for soya beans were at micro-levels (≤100ppm) in AYB, except for silicon, which was significantly high in AYB to about (189.4ppm). Corollary, the naturally highly reactive chlorine and barium, were detected in their free states. Sodium was not detected. X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry analytical method gave a total profiling of all elements present in samples, thus total mineral composition of African yam beans as a legumes can indeed be resource-efficient in mineral contribution to the diet and highly economical food sources of minerals.
Lecturer at the university of Calabar involved in teaching and research. I hold a BSc in chemistry and a PhD in nutrition and food science. Major area of research interest is in food science with emphasis on agricultural food. Human nutrition is minor specialty. There's a lot of work done based on consultancy on quality assessment on consumables.
Emmanuel E. Duke Okon
My work is teaching and research with a background in inorganic chemistry. Research interest is bio-inorganic, coordination and kinetic chemistry. Also, an inventor in quantum therapy.