Genetic and environmental impact on iron, zinc, and phytate in food sorghum grown in Benin.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

PubMedID: 16390208

Kayodé AP, Linnemann AR, Hounhouigan JD, Nout MJ, van Boekel MA. Genetic and environmental impact on iron, zinc, and phytate in food sorghum grown in Benin. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(1):256-62.
Seventy-six farmers' varieties of sorghum from Benin were distinguished by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and clustered into 45 distinct genotypes. The genotype clusters were evaluated for their Fe, Zn, and phytate concentrations to assess the impact of genetic and environmental effects on the composition of the grains and to identify farmers' varieties with high potential Fe and Zn availability. The Fe concentration of the grains ranged from 30 to 113 mg/kg with an average of 58 mg/kg. The Zn concentration ranged from 11 to 44 mg/kg with an average of 25 mg/kg. The phytate concentration of the grain ranged from 0.4 to 3.5% with a mean of 1.2%. The grain-Fe and grain-Zn did not show consistent linkage to genetic variation, but varied significantly across field locations, suggesting a predominant environmental impact. The phytate concentration of the grains appeared to be environmentally as well as genetically determined. No varieties provide adequate Zn to meet nutritional requirements of sorghum consumers. The most promising varieties for Fe supply were tokogbessenou, mahi swan, biodahu, saï maï, mare dobi, sakarabokuru, and chabicouma, as they showed a [phytate]/[Fe] ratio of <14, which is the critical value above which Fe availability is strongly impaired. These varieties could therefore be recommended for the preparation of food products such as dibou, in which processing methods have only a slight diminishing effect on phytate levels. Further research is needed to test these varieties for the stability of [phytate]/[Fe] molar ratio across various environmental conditions.