Enhancement of dietary content of iron in Brassica oleracia through soil alterations

Cynthia Chen

Vol. 1, Issue 2, p 30-33 (2019)

https://doi.org/10.36838/v1i2.7

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ABSTRACT: It is difficult for vegetarians and vegans to obtain their necessary iron levels, as the ferric iron found only in plants is in a much less bio-available form compared to its ferrous counterpart in meat. In this research, Kale (Brassica oleracia) plants were used to increase iron absorption by altering soil chemical conditions. Samples of kale leaves were studied using Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) and X-ray absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopies. We found that, while the chemical nature of the iron species does not change within different regions of the plant, the amount of iron varies significantly within the plant during different growth stages due to the absorption of different amounts of iron from the soil. With the presence of Arsenic in the soil, the iron absorption of the plants is reduced significantly. Therefore, the results suggest that arsenic-containing pesticides should not be applied during the growth of these plants. It was also observed that lowering the pH (< 7) of soil helps the absorption of iron into the plants. It is also noteworthy to point out that both ferric and ferrous iron are present in our plant samples.
KEYWORDS: Anemia; X-Ray absorption; Brassica oleracia; Arsenic; Soil pH; Iron absorption