Dry dates were purchased weekly from the open market in Benin City. Atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to determine the following elements in the mesocarp of the dates: Mg, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn, P, Pb, Hg, Cr and Cd. The flame photometer was used to determine Na and K. Results obtained indicated that K had the highest concentration, followed by Ca, Mg and Na, respectively. The other elements were present in lower concentrations. Hg, Cr, Cd, and Pb were not detectable. The overall results suggest that over 100 mg of the mesocarp of dates would be required to meet the recommended dietary allowance for all ages. Additionally, the mesocarp of dates could be a useful source of the elements that the body cannot synthesize, which are needed daily for healthy living. The uptake and interrelationship of the mineral elements detected are discussed.
Key words: Mesocarp, elemental uptake, recommended dietary allowance, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, flame photometer.
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