Title: Determination of trace elements composition in dawadawa, a food condiment used in West and Central Africa

Authors: V.Y. Agbodemegbe; S.E. Agbemava; C.Y. Bansah; N.A. Adoo; E. Alhassan; R. Della; G.I. Appiah; B.J.B. Nyarko

Addresses: Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana. ' Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, National Nuclear Research Institute, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana

Abstract: Dawadawa, obtained by alkaline fermentation of the matured dawadawa pod, is a culinary product used to enhance taste, flavour and intensify meatiness in soups, sauces and other dishes in West and Central Africa. It is believed to cure cholera, stomachache, diarrhea, bronchitis, pneumonia, leprosy, hypertension, and pain in the bones. The trace element contents of the fermented dawadawa pods were determined by neutron activation analysis to better appreciate their medicinal and nutritional applications. Results obtained showed the presence of Na, Mn, Al, Cl, Ca, K, Cu and Mg with maximum concentration of Na found to be 37.9 ± 0.6 mg/kg in dp3, Mn; 19.5 ± 2.9 mg/kg in dp2, Al; 493 ± 3.9 mg/kg in ds1, Cl; 1074 ± 36.3 mg/kg in ds2, Cu; 6.2 ± 0.5 mg/kg in dp4, Ca; 0.90 ± 0.04 wt.% in dp2, K; 2 ± 0.02 wt.% in ds2, Mg; 0.44 ± 0.03 wt. % in ds1.

Keywords: neutron activation analysis; trace elements; dawadawa; food condiments; alkaline fermentation; Africa; medicinal applications; nutritional applications.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2011.044532

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2011 Vol.4 No.2/3/4, pp.131 - 139

Received: 20 Oct 2010
Accepted: 15 Mar 2011

Published online: 29 Dec 2011 *

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