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Mapping Elemental Nutrient and Surface Treatment Distribution in Produce

Nutritionists address the benefits of obtaining elemental nutrients directly from food, especially fresh, uncontaminated produce. This project will demonstrate non-destructive techniques developed to visually map distribution and relative abundance of elemental nutrients and treatments of produce.

Three types of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers were used. All provided user control of atmosphere, power, filters and collimators for optimization of elemental analysis in various matrices. They also provided qualitative and quantitative XRF elemental analysis software.

Data presented will include maps of elemental nutrient rich locations in fruit as well as distribution of elemental surface treatments for preservation of produce from farm to market. The various methods utilized for data collection will be described. Future research planned includes monitoring elementall nutrient distribution changes over time and with different storage conditions.