This study aims to establish the mineral potential of 30 varieties of corn mainly used in the traditional and industrial processing sectors. The samples were collected from all agro-ecological zones of corn production in southern Benin. The nutritional profile of samples was evaluated through their mineral composition using AOAC methods. The results of cluster analysis revealed that the samples analysed were ranked in three groups consisting of fairly homogeneous varieties. The results also showed that the 30 varieties contained variable amounts of phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Varieties of cluster 1 were very rich in iron (710 ± 0.01 mg/kg), those of cluster 3 contained the highest potassium contents (7958 ± 0.1 mg/kg) while samples of cluster 2 contained the lowest contents in potassium (1883±0.02 mg/kg), sodium (213.40 ± 0.00 mg/kg), magnesium (352.10± 0.01 mg/kg) and calcium (93 ± 0.00 mg/kg). Moreover, Ca/P and Na/K ratios were 0.38 and 0.13 for cluster 1 corn varieties, 0.21 and 0.11 for cluster 2 samples, and 0.07 and 0.03 for cluster 3 varieties respectively. With the exception of cluster 3 samples that meet the nutritional requirement in iron and dietary intake of magnesium for children, the remaining maize varieties samples did not showed a satisfactory mineral composition.
Key words: Corn, mineral status, variety, Benin.
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