First determination of mineral composition of the leaf Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) used in human nourishment in the Midwest of Brazil and comparasion with dietary reference intakes for children and adults

  • Rafaela Henriques Rosa
  • Andre Henrique de Oliveira Lopes
  • Valter Aragão do Nascimento
  • Ana Lucia Alves de Arruda
  • Igor Domingos de Souza
  • Anderson Fernandes da Silva
  • Marcos Antonio Ferreira Júnior Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil


Introduction: Radicchio (Cichorium intybus L.) is a leaf chicory and is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red or purple leaves and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. In several countries is consumed mainly as salad, but no studies on their elemental composition  has been done, principally in Brazil.

Objective: The aim of present work was to measure the macroelements (Na, K, Ca, Mg and P) and microelements (Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Zn, Al, Cd, Ni, Co and Si) in the leaf Chicory used as human nourishment in the Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

Method: Chemical digests of samples were prepared using HNO3 and H2O2 and then placed in the microwave digestion system. After digestion, the concentrations of the elements in Leaf Chicory were determined by the technique of Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP–OES, Thermo Scientific - iCAP 6000 Series). Results obtained of the concentrations of leaf chicory were compared with the dietary reference intakes.

Results: Detected concentration of macroelements in leaf Chicory decreases in the order: K > P > Ca > Mg > Na. As well as the concentration of microelements decreases in the order: Fe > Al > Si > Mn > Zn > Cu > Cr > Ni > Cd > Mo > Co. Leaf Chicory is excellent source of K, Ca, Mg, P, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo and Zn for children and adults. On the other hand, leaf chicory is not considered a source of sodium for children and adults. Concentration of K, Cr, Fe, and Al are above the limit recommended limit by FAO/WHO (1984) and others countries.

Conclusions: Leaf Chicory has macro and microelements in ample amount; it can be used as an important part of people's diets. Since it not exceed allowable limits set by WHO and FAO, RDA/AI and UL. Competent organs have not evaluated concentrations of elements as Al, Cd, Ni, Co and Si in order to establish a tolerable upper intake level or RDA/AI for human. The lack of studies of adverse effects following excess intake of a nutrient does not mean that adverse effects do not occur.

Keywords: Leaf Chicory; Radicchio; Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-OES).

Author Biography

Marcos Antonio Ferreira Júnior, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil
Nursing Department


1. Haveman-Nies A, Groot LC PGM, Burema J, Cruz JAA, Osler M, Staveren WA. Dietary Quality and Lifestyle Factors in Relation to 10-Year Mortality in Older Europeans: The SENECA Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2002; 156(10): 962-968.
2. Young M, Wolfheim C, Marsh DR, Hammamy D. World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund Joint Statement on Integrated Community Case Management: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Access to Essential Treatment Services for Children. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2012; 87(5 Suppl), 6-10.; A Joint Statement by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund, Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
3. World Health Organization (WHO). Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases. e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA).
4. Leterme P, Buldgen A, Estrada F, Londoño AM. Mineral content of tropical fruits and unconventional foods of the Andes and the rains forest of Colombia. Food Chemistry, 2006; 95(4): 644–652.
5. Lima NV, Arakaki DG, Tschinkel PPS, Silva AF, Guimarães RCA, Hiane PA, Ferreira Júnior MA, Nascimento VA. First Comprehensive Study on Total Determination of Nutritional Elements in the Fruit of the Campomanesia Adamantium (Cambess.): Brazilian Cerrado Plant. International Archives of Medicine. 2016; 9(350).1-11. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/First_Comprehensive_Study_on_Total_Determination_of_Nutritional_Elements_in_the_%20(7).pdf
6. Barcaccia G, Ghedina A, Lucchin M. Current Advances in Genomics and Breeding of Leaf Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). Agriculture 2016; 6(50). 1-24.§ion=&special_issue=&search=Search
7. Street, RA, Sidana J, Prinsloo G. Cichorium intybus: Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology. Evidence-Based Complement. Alternative Medicine. 2013; 2013, 579319
8. Barcaccia G, Pallottini L, Soattin M, Lazzarin R, Parrini P, Lucchin M. Genomic DNA fingerprints as a tool for identifying cultivated types of radicchio (Cichorium intybus L.) from Veneto, Italy. Plant Breeding. 2003; 122: 178-183.
9. Innocenti M, Gallori S, Giaccherini C, Ieri F, Vincieri FF, Mulinacci N. Evaluation of the Phenolic Content in the Aerial Parts of Different Varieties of Cichorium intybus L. Journal Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2005; 53(16): 6497-6502.
10. Covance Laboratories Inc. Radicchio (Chicory/Vegetable). Report Number: 505527-0. 2012.
11. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/foodsreport%20(1).pdf
12. Corrada, MM, Kawas CH, Hallfrisch J., Muller D, Brookmeyer, R. Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease with high folate intake: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Alzheimer’s & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 2005; 1(1): 11-18.
13. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Basic Report 11952, Radicchio, raw. Basic Report 11952, Radicchio, raw.
14. Minerals for Plants, Animals and Man. Agri-faz. Alberta – Agriculture, Food and Rural development. 1998. Agdex 531-533.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex789
15. Buol SW. Soils and agriculture in central-west and north Brazil.
Scientia Agricola (Piracicaba, Braz.). 2009; 66(5): 697-707.
16. Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW. Harper’s biochemistry, 25th Edition, McGraw-Hill, Health Profession Division, USA. 2000; 780–786.
17. United States Department of Agriculture. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, Washington, US, 2006; Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD, editors; The National Academies Press: Washington, US, 2006.
18. Brasil, Regulamento Técnico Sobre a Ingestão Diária Recomendada (IDR) de Proteína, Vitaminas e Minerais, RDC n. 269, de 22 de setembro de 2005, Brasília, Brasil, 2005; Anvisa, Brasília, Brasil, 2005.
19. Food Drugs Administration. Section 101.54 Nutrient content claims for ‘‘good source,’’ ‘‘high,’’ and ‘‘more.’’ Code of Federal Regulations. 1993; Title 21, 84-85.
20. World Health Organization (WHO). Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children. Geneva, Switzerland, 2011.
21. Soetan KO, Olaiya CO, Oyewole OE. The importance of mineral elements for humans, domestic animals and plants: A review. African Journal of Food Science. 2010; 4(5): 200-222.
22. European Food Safety Authority. Tolerable upper intake levels for vitamins and minerals. Parma, Italy, 2006.
23. World Health Organization (WHO). Guideline: Potassium intake for adults and children. Geneva, Switzerland. 2012.
24. Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ. 2013; 346: f137.
25. Aggarwal, A, Prinz-Wohlgenannt M, Tennakoon S, Höbaus J, Boudot C, Mentaverri R, Brown EM, Baumgartner-Parzer S, Kállay E. The calcium-sensing receptor: A promising target for prevention of colorectal cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2015; 1853: 2158-2167.
26. Rubio-López N, Llopis-González A, Morales-Suárez-Varela M. Calcium Intake and Nutritional Adequacy in Spanish Children: The ANIVA Study. Nutrients. 2017; 9(2): 170.
27 Quann EE., Fulgoni, V L, Auestad N. Consuming the daily recommended amounts of dairy products would reduce the prevalence of inadequate micronutrient intakes in the United States: diet modeling study based on NHANES 2007–2010. Nutritional Journal. 2015; 14: 90.
28. Krebs-Smith SM, Guenther PM, Subar AF, Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. Journal of Nutrition. 2010; 140:1832-1838.
29. Institute of Medicine, Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board. Vitamin D. Chapter 7. In: Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 1997.
30. The Canadian Nutrient File 2016.
31. Grimm M, Muller A, Hein G, Funfstuck R, Jahreis G: High phosphorus intake only slightly affects serum minerals, urinary pyridinium crosslinks and renal function in young women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001; 55: 153-161
32. Food and agriculture organization of United Nations – FAO; World Health Organization – WHO. Format of codex commodity standards. In: Food and agriculture organization of United Nations – FAO; world health organization – WHO (Ed.). Codex alimentarius commission: procedural manual. Rome: FAO/WHO. 1984; 43-49. (v. XVII). 
33. Anderson RA, Cheng N, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Cheng N, Chi J, et al{/Authors PT}. {PT ArticleTitle}Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improve glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes{/ArticleTitle PT}. {PT JournalTitle}Diabetes{/JournalTitle PT}. {PT Year}1997{/Year PT}; {PT Volume}46{/Volume PT}({PT Issue}11{/Issue PT}): {PT PageRange}1786–1791{/PageRangePT}.
34. Scheiber Ivo, Dringen Ralf, Mercer Julian F. B. Copper: Effects of Deficiency and Overload. In Sigel, Astrid; Sigel, Helmut; Sigel, Roland K.O. Interrelations between Essential Metal Ions and Human Diseases. Metal Ions in Life Sciences. 13. Springer. 2013. 359-87. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7500-8_11. 
35. Loef, Martin; Walach, Harald. Copper and iron in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review and its dietary implications. The British Journal of Nutrition. 2012; 107(1):7-19.
36. Alexander D, Ball MJ, Mann J. Nutrient intake and haematological status of vegetarians and age-sex matched omnivores. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1994; 48(8):538-546.
37. Neal AP, Guilarte, TR. Mechanisms of lead and manganese neurotoxicity. Toxicology Research (Camb). 2013; 2(2), 99-114.
38. Chen H, Copes R. Manganese in Drinking Water and Intellectual Impairment in School-Age Children. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2011; 119(6), A240-A241.
39. FNB, Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council, US (1989). Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ed. National Academy Press, Washington DC.
40. World Health Organization. Trace Elements in Human Nutrition and Health. Geneva. World Health Organization. Prepared in Collaboration with the FAO of the UN and the IAEA. 1996.
41. SCF. 31st series of reports of the Scientific Committee for Food. Nutrient and energy intakes for the European Community. Commission of the European Communities, Luxembourg. 1993.
42. SCF. Opinion of the Scientific Committee for Food on “Substances for nutritional purposes which have been proposed for use in the manufacture of foods for particular nutritional purposes”. 1998.
43. Dodig-Curković K, Dovhanj J, Curković M, Dodig-Radić J, Degmecić D. The role of zinc in the treatment of hyperactivity disorder in children. Acta Medica Croatica. 2009; 63(4): 307-313.
44. Connell P, Young VM, Toborek M, Cohen DA, Barve S, McClain CJ, Hennig B{/Authors PT}. {PT ArticleTitle}Zinc attenuates tumor necrosis factor-mediated activation of transcription factors in endothelial cells{/ArticleTitle PT}. {PT JournalTitle}The Journal of the American College of Nutrition{/JournalTitle PT}. {PT Year}1997{/Year PT}; {PT Volume}16(5){/Volume PT}: {PT PageRange}411-417{/PageRange PT}.
45. Leblanc JC, Verger P, Guérin T, Volatier JL. The 1st French Total Diet Study – Mycotoxins, minerals and trace elements. France: the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fishing and Rural Affairs, and the National Institute on Agronomic Research. 2004.
46. Food Standard Agency (FSA) of UK. Survey on measurement of the concentrations of metals and other elements from the 2006 UK Total Diet Study. Food Surveillance Information Sheet No. 01/09. UK: FSA; 2009.
47. Zhang L, Gao J. Comparison on intake status of harmful elements between China and some developed countries. Journal of Hygiene Research. 2003; 32(3): 268-271.
48. Ning Ma, Zhao-Ping Liu, Da-Jin Yang, Jiang Liang, Jiang-Hui Zhu, Hai-Bin Xu, Feng-Qin Li, and Ning Li. Risk assessment of dietary exposure to aluminium in the Chinese population. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A. 2016; 33(10).
49. Wilhelm M, Wittsiepe J, Schrey P, Budde U, Idel H. Dietary intake of cadmium by children and adults from Germany using duplicate portion sampling. Science of The Total Environment. 2002; 285(1-3): 11-19.
50. Schwerdtle T, Seidel A, Hartwig A. Effect of soluble and particulate nickel compounds on the formation and repair of stable benzo[a]pyrene DNA adducts in human lung cells. Carcinogenesis. 2002; 23(1):47–53.
51. Sharma AD. Low Nickel Diet in Dermatology. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2013; 58(3), 240.
52. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences. Public health statement cadmium. 2012.
53. Bellia JP, Newton K, Davenport A, Birchall JD, Roberts NB. Silicon and aluminium and their inter‐relationship in serum and urine after renal transplantation. European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1994; 24(10): 703-710.
54. Martin KR. Silicon: the health benefits of a metalloid. Metal Ions Life Sciences. 2013; 13: 451–73.
How to Cite
ROSA, Rafaela Henriques et al. First determination of mineral composition of the leaf Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) used in human nourishment in the Midwest of Brazil and comparasion with dietary reference intakes for children and adults. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 10, may 2017. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 june 2017. doi:
Applied Technology in Medicine

Most read articles by the same author(s)