Total folate content in ready-to-eat vegetable meals from the Spanish market
Abstract Currently, data concerning the amount of naturally occurring dietary folate in ready-to-eat foods is scarce, in spite of an increasing consumption. Total folate (TF) in 35 chilled ready-to-eat vegetable-based meals, expected to be good natural folate sources, was determined. A validated method that relies on a trienzyme extraction (α-amylase, rat plasma conjugase as a substitute to chicken pancreas conjugase, and protease enzymes), and chloramphenicol-resistant Lactobacillus casei subspecies rhamnosus folate dependent growth was developed. No previous reports on folate data in refrigerated ready-to-eat foods from the Spanish market have been published. Vegetable burgers, containing pulses and green leafy vegetables, had the highest folate content (103.8μg TF/100g fresh weight). Refrigerated recipes including chickpeas, peas, broccoli, or artichokes had an average folate content of 75μg TF/100g fresh weight. A typical serving of targeted ready-to-eat meals (175g) may provide up to 60% of the Dietary Reference Intake for an adult. No differences in TF were found after mild heat treatment, as recommended by the manufacturer before its consumption. Therefore, these products may be used to increase folate intake by choosing naturally rich dietary sources. Data will assist dietary studies in the assessment of population folate dietary intakes. Highlights Data on folate content (TF) of 35 ready-to-eat meals from Spanish market are shown. Pulses and green leafy vegetable burgers have 103.8μg TF/100g fresh weight. Chickpeas, peas, broccoli, or artichokes portions have 75μg TF/100g fresh weight. Salads and soups have lower folate contents (≈10–35μg TF/100g fresh weight). One serving of targeted products may provide up to 60% of Dietary Reference Intake.
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