Categorization of Food Groups According to Their Composition of Iron, Ascorbate and Calcium: Analysis of the Kenya Food Composition Tables 2018

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue VII, July 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Categorization of Food Groups According to Their Composition of Iron, Ascorbate and Calcium: Analysis of the Kenya Food Composition Tables 2018

Patrick Nyamemba Nyakundi
Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Kenya

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Abstract— The use of food groups offers a summary that can be used to generate useful dietary patterns. Studying dietary pattern has gained popularity over single nutrient investigation and their relationship with various health conditions. The aim of this paper was to categorize various food groups according to their composition of iron, ascorbate and calcium. Data was obtained from the Kenya Food Composition Tables 2018. Univariate statistics were used to analyze the data in SPSS. Food groups with high level of iron were meat and meat products (μ=5.59mg/100g of EP) and cereals and their products (μ=3.95mg/100g of EP). Vegetables (μ=38.04 mg/100g) and fruits (μ=33.55 mg/100g) were richest in ascorbic acid and milk and milk products in calcium (μ=512.07mg/100g of EP). The categorization can be used to generate human diet intake scores that could inform dietary patterns for various groups of people to enhance their iron bioavailability and better micronutrient outcomes.

Keywords—Food groups, categorization, iron, ascorbic acid, calcium

I. INTRODUCTION

The nutrient intakes and dietary consumption patterns are recorded as the factors influencing health and disease and have led to the development of recommended intakes for various nutrients including vitamins and minerals (1). The recommended intakes address the nutritional needs of humans in the lifecycle and should result in optimal nutrition and reduced vulnerability to diseases (1). However, researchers encounter difficulties analysing a single nutrient and its relationship with health and diseases. The main reason why this is so can be attributed to the fact that people do not consume nutrients, they consume meals that contain a combination of foods (2). A huge number of confounding variables, which come to play when investigating the role of a nutrient in relation to a certain disease, proves difficult to control for during analysis (3).

Since a nutrient is found in an array of foods, it becomes necessary to categorize foods according to the richness of a particular nutrient (4). In this manner, an array of foods categorized to contain a high, moderate, low or negligible amounts of a certain nutrient can be studied in relation to a given condition (2).