Nutrition plays a vital role in growth, development and the prevention of possible nutrient-deficiency diseases that may cause permanent health risks in the later stages of life. Due to this, the concentrations of iron, zinc, copper, manganese and β-carotene in four varieties of plantain were investigated in this study. The relationship between the micro-minerals in the fruit, the sampling location and soil were also studied. Plantain fruit samples were collected from farms in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The samples were oven-dried and digested using the Kjeldahl method for micro-minerals analysis with atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The β-carotene content was determined using HPLC. The data obtained was subjected to analysis of variance to determine differences in the concentrations. The micro-minerals and β-carotene concentrations in the varieties of plantain did not vary significantly. Cluster analysis showed that some of the samples had almost the same nutrient concentrations though they were not of the same variety.
Key words: Anaemia, β-carotene, hidden hunger, micronutrients, nutrition, plantain, food security.
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