Objectives: Anthropological studies have noted historic and modern consumption of a variety of wild berries in Western Washington, yet the current prevalence of this behavior is not known. Also unknown are the mineral and bioactive components of certain wild berries, including salal (Gaultheria shallon). Three studies seek to describe wild berries’ contribution to diet diversity by assessing prevalence of wild berry consumption among Western Washington park users, and measurement of selected essential mineral, trace metal, and flavanol contents of salal.
Methods: Participants were recruited for the cross-sectional web-based survey in parks and via park-related social media. Salal berries were gathered at 4 Seattle parks. Berries underwent microwave digestion followed by analysis by ICP-MS for K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, As, Cd, Pb, and Hg. Catechin and epicatechin flavanols were analyzed by HPLC/UV-VIS following an acetone-based extraction. Commercially grown blueberries were purchased, processed, and analyzed concurrently for comparison.
Results: Of the survey study sample (n=81), 79% gathered and ate wild berries in the last year. Another 12% did so in the year prior. Of these, 49% reported preserving wild berries. Per 100g serving, salal berries contained 147 mg K, 36 mg Ca, 15 mg Mg, 525 mcg Fe, 249 mcg Zn, 63 mcg Cu, 2.88 mg catechin, and 1.12 mg epicatechin. Trace metal content varied by park, but all samples were below FAO/WHO levels of concern.
Conclusion: The majority of park users consumes wild berries. Salal contains similar levels of minerals and flavanols as blueberry, but may contribute to a diverse diet as a low-cost alternative to commercial berries.
|Commitee:||Elson-Schwab, Lev, Lund, Kaleb|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Gaultheria shallon, Wild foods|
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