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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1

Introduction
The word cereal derives from Ceres, the name of the Roman goddess of

harvest and agriculture. It is a member of the monocot family Poaceae,


cultivated for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit
called a caryopsis), composed of an endosperm, germ, and bran. Cereal grains
are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than
any other type of crop; they are therefore staple crops.
In their natural form (as in whole grain), they are a rich source of
vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and proteins. When refined by the
removal of the bran and germ, the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate.
In some developing nations, grain in the form of corn, millet, guinea corn or
wheat constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed nations, cereal
consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial.
Cereals have been important crops in the world for thousands of years. Its
successful production, storage and use have contributed visibly to development
in the globe. Sorghum is ranked the fifth most important cereal crop in the
world with maize ranking first, rice second, wheat third and barley fourth, in
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terms of production (FAO, 2011) and millet a general category for several
species of small grained cereal crops (Iren, 2004) is ranked seventh.
A review of related literatures indicated that about 95 % of the metal
content of cereals generally consists of Mg, Fe, Ca, and Zn. Besides these, a
large number of other elements are present in trace quantities (Kent, 2006).
Nearly all the mineral elements required by the body are present in cereal
grains. Important exceptions are iodine and sodium. Cereal grains also provide
significant amounts of S, Cl and Mn all of which have demonstrable functions
in the metabolism of human body (Kent, 2006). The role being played by some
of these elements in the development of human body cannot be
overemphasized.
This research work aims at identifying the elements such as Zn, Fe, Mg
and Ca in cereals like corn, millet and guinea corn. This will assist in qualifying
and quantifying the nutritional and food values of these selected cereals in
human diet and animal feed.
1.2

Description of the Cereals


Corn, Zea mays, is a cereal plant and is a staple food crop grown all over

the world. Corn may also be referred to as maize and is believed to originate
from Mexico and Central America. The corn plant possesses a simple stem of
nodes and internodes. A large leaf extends off of each internode and the leaves
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total 821 per plant. The leaves are linear or lanceolate with an obvious midrib
and can grow from 30 to 100 cm (11.839.4 in) in length. The male and female
inflorescences are positioned separately on the plant. The male inflorescence is
known as the 'tassel' while the female inflorescence is the 'ear'. The ear of the
corn is a modified spike and there may be 13 per plant. The corn grains, or
'kernels', are encased in husks and total 301000 per ear. The kernels can be
white, yellow, red, purple or black in colour. Corn is an annual plant, surviving
for only one growing season prior to harvest and can reach 23 m (710 ft) in
height.
The Guinea Corn, Sorghum vulgare, is commonly called broomcorn. An
annual grass like other Sorghums, it grows 6 to 15 ft tall, although dwarf
varieties are only 3 to 7 ft in height. The upper peduncle is normally 8 to 18 in
long, topped by a branched inflorescence or panicle, from which the seedbearing fibers originate. The fibers are usually 12 to 24 in long, but can be up to
36 in long; they are branched toward the tip where the flowers and seed grow.
The seeds number about 30,000/lb, with feed value similar to oats. A ton of the
fibrous panicle makes 900 to 1200 brooms.
Millets are of various varieties; the four major types are Pearl millet
(Pennisetum glaucum), which comprises 40% of the world production, Foxtail
millet (Setaria italica), Proso millet or white millet (Panicum miliaceum), and
Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana) (Yang et al., 2012). Pearl millet produces the
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largest seeds and it is the variety most commonly used for human consumption
(Mariac et al., 2006; ICRISAT, 2007). In Nigeria, Benue state especially, two of
those major millets are mainly cultivated. These millets are Pearl millet
Ammine and Finger millet Agasi.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) which is also called Ammine in
Tivland is the most widely grown of all millets. It is also known as bulrush
millet, and is also known as gero in hausa. The height of the pearl millet plant
may range from 0.5 to 4 metres. The pearl millet grain has great variation, and
can be nearly white, pale yellow, brown, grey, slate blue or purple. The kernel
shape has five different classifications: obovate, hexagonal, lanceolate, globular,
and elliptical. Grains of pearl millet are about 3 to 4 mm long, much larger than
those of other millets. The seeds usually weigh between 2.5 and 14 mg, with a
typical mean of 8 mg. The size of the pearl millet kernel is about one-third that
of guinea corn. The relative proportion of germ to endosperm is higher in pearl
millet than in sorghum.
Finger millet, Eleusine coracana, is also an annual grass in the family
Poaceae which is grown for its grain which can be used for food or for brewing.
Finger millet is a robust tillering grass which grows in tufts. It has erect, light
green stems. The leaves of the plant are dark green, linear and mainly smooth
with some hair along the leaf edges. The inflorescence of the plant is a cluster of
326 fingers composed of dense spikelets where the grain, or seed, is
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produced. Finger millet can reach 1.7 m (5.6 ft) in height and is an annual plant,
harvested after one growing season. Finger millet may also be referred to as
African fingermillet, goosegrass or millet and originates from the highlands of
Eastern Africa. The colour of finger millet grains may vary from white through
orange-red, deep brown, purple, to almost black. The grains are smaller than
those of pearl millet. The typical mean weight of finger millet seed is about 2.6
mg.
1.3

Background of the Study


Magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium are essential elements needed in the

balanced diet of children and humans as a whole. Lack of these elements causes
nutrient malnutrition which may lead to other diseases. They are essential to
growth of bones, blood flow and other body functions. One of the main sources
of these elements is cereal crops that is the reason why children fed on cereal
crops develop better than those fed on root crops.
This study tends to throw more light on the mineral elements found in
cereals such as corn (maize), millet (Agasi and Ammine) and Guinea corn; it
will also enable a comparism of their nutritive potentials.

1.4

Aim of the Study


The elemental analysis of cereals (corn, millet and guinea corn) using

flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (A.A.S.) is aimed at the following.


i.

Determining the elements found in Zea Mays, Sorghum Vulgare,


Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum.

1.5

Objective of the Study


This objective of this research work is to determine:

i.

The elemental concentrations of the essential metals found in Zea Mays,


Sorghum Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum by
atomic absorption spectrometry

1.6

Scope of the Study


The elemental analysis of cereals like corn, millet and guinea corn has

been studied before but not in this region i.e. Benue State. This research tends to
determine the concentration of some macronutrients in these crops in Benue
state. This is done by wet digestion of these elements using atomic absorption
spectrometer. The result will be compared among the cereals to ascertain the
usefulness of each crop in human and nutrition.

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1

Introduction
This chapter looks to educate us on the background of this study; it looks

back on the works of other scholars who have determined the elements in these
cereals.
It illuminates our knowledge on the proximate composition of these
cereals as seen by other researchers. This tells us the composition of
carbohydrates, proteins, fat, moisture and ash of these cereals, it then goes on to
give us the mineral and vitamin composition of these cereals.
Later in the chapter, the wet digestion was defined and its principle of
work stated. The flame atomic absorption principle was also stated to help in
understanding this research work.
2.2

Proximate Composition
Ikram, Muhammad and Arifa (2010) reported in their work on corn

(maize) that the Corn kernels has a moisture content of in the range of 9.20110.908%, ash (0.7-1.3%), fats (3.21-7.71%), protein (7.71-14.60%), crude fiber
(0.80-2.32%) and carbohydrates (69.659-74.549%). The data indicate that seeds

of different varieties of corn vary greatly in terms of protein, fats and crude fibre
content.
In a research paper by Akaninwor et al. (2007), the proximate analysis
revealed that guinea corn predominantly contained carbohydrate (73.87%),
which was followed by protein (9.35%), moisture (8.69%), ash (2.13%), lipid
(3.83%) and fibre (2.15%).
For pearl millet, Taylor et al. (2010) cited in Issoufou, Mahamadou and
Guo-Wei (2013) stated that the carbohydrate content of a whole grain is 59.8%,
protein content is 14.8%, fat is 4.86%, crude fibre is 12.19% and ash content of
about 1.64%.
Bagdi et al. (2011) cited in Issoufou, Mahamadou and Guo-Wei (2013)
reported that the Proso millet which in the Tivland is called Agasi contains
proteins, fats, carbohydrates and crude fibre contents of 11.58%, .4.9%, 80.1%
and 0.7% respectively while Burton et al (1972), Carr (1961) and Kurien (1967)
reported in his work that the ash content of the Proso millet is of the range 2.63.9%.
2.3

Mineral Compositions of the Cereals


Cereals are composed of many mineral elements, some in large quantities

and some in trace quantities. This research work gives a highlight of the
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concentrations of the large quantified elements as well as the concentration of


the trace elements as researched by other scholars as shown in the table below.
Table 1: Table showing Elemental Concentrations of both Macro and Trace
Elements in Maize, Pearl Millet, Finger Millet and Guinea Corn.
Elements
Maize

Phosphorus (P)
Magnesium (Mg)
Potassium (K)
Iron (Fe)
Zinc (Zn)
Calcium (Ca)
Manganese (Mn)
Copper (Cu)
Sodium (Na)

40 60
34 40
17 23
48
01
25
02
13
47

Concentration (mg/g)
Pearl Millet
Finger Millet G. corn
(mg/100g)
(mg/100g
)
450 990
283
360.5
180 270
137
129.8
70 110 (g/g) 408
245.7
70 180 (g/g) 3.9
6.8
53 70 (g/g)
2.3
4.5
10 80
344
27.34
18 23 (g/g)
5.49
1.3
10 18 (g/g)
0.47
0.71
4 13 (g/g)
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90.4

2.3.1 Maize
Sule, Umoh, Whong, Abdullahi and Alabi (2014) reported in their journal
on the mineral and nutritional value of the corn plant that of all the minerals,
phosphorus content of the corn plant was the highest, followed by magnesium,
Potassium and sodium while other mineral content such as calcium, manganese,
zinc, iron, copper were all in low percentages of the seeds.
2.3.2 Pearl Millet

Nwasike, Okoh, Aduku and Njoku (1987) reported that maize contained
minerals like Phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K) in higher
quantities while Calcium (Ca), sodium (Na) and iron (Fe) in lesser quantities
and copper (Cu), Manganese (Mg) and Zinc (Zn) are in trace quantities.
2.3.3 Finger Millet
In a report by Shobana et al (2003), it was reported that the finger millet
specimens examined had large amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and
magnesium while the elements found in lesser quantities were manganese,
copper, iron, sodium, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, chromium, sulphur and
chlorine.
2.3.4 Guinea Corn
Samiha and Azza (2012) have reported that the micro- elements content
of the guinea corn are iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu). It
was also found that the macro elements in the cereal were phosphorus (P),
potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na) and calcium (Ca).
2.4

Uses of the Cereals

2.4.1 Maize
It is used for making cornmeal by grinding whole corn. The coarsest meal
when ground is called grits, which is used to make corn flakes. Another type of
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cornmeal is called masa flour, which is made by treating corn with lime (alkali).
This releases the corn's niacin into a form the body can use.
Penicillium could be gotten from the corn steep liquor. Corn steep liquor
is a by-product of the process of separating the various parts of corn. It is the
water used to soak the various components, and it is reused in several steps.
Corn steep liquor contains acids, yeast, gluten, and plenty of nitrogen, and is
partially fermented by the time it leaves the mill. It was discarded as waste until
the 1940s, when scientists determined that corn steep liquor is the perfect
medium in which to grow large quantities of penicillium.
Corn could also be used to make sugar as corn syrup. Corn syrup is made
from corn starch. Starch is a carbohydrate, a molecular chain of sugars.
Enzymes are added to the starch to break the chains into sugars, mainly glucose.
Further processing can change the sugars into High-Fructose Corn Syrup
(HFCS). HFCS is used to sweeten a variety of products, most notably soft
drinks.
Another possible use of corn is in the formation of ethanol. Distilled
alcohol from grain is called ethanol. The word in modern usage usually refers to
ethanol fuel or bio-fuel made by distilling corn. Regular gasoline-powered cars
can run on gas blended with up to 10% ethanol. Corn is a renewable resource,
so bio-fuels are seen as a replacement for fossil fuels. However, the growing use
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of corn for bio-fuel raises concerns about the diminishing availability of corn
for food. Currently, the production of bio-fuels uses as much or more energy
than it produces.
2.4.2 Guinea Corn
It can be used to bake as sorghum flour. It can be used to replace wheat
flour as it would be cheaper. It has a nice neutral flavour and is light in colour,
so it's super versatile. It can also be used for salad when added with chopped
carrots and warm spices; it is a taste that cannot be passed.
It could also be used to make sugar as sorghum syrup. Sorghum syrup is
made from sorghum starch. Enzymes are added to the starch to break the chains
into sugars, mainly glucose. Sorghum syrup has a rich, earthy sweetness and can
be used in place of honey or maple syrup in your favorite recipes.
2.4.3 Pearl Millet
Nigeria uses millions of tonnes of pearl millet as staple food in many
homes, especially among the poor predominantly in Northern Nigeria, Niger,
Burkina Faso, Mali (FAO, 2007). It is also used in making a popular fried cake
known as "masa". Its flour is also used in preparing "tuwo", a thick binding
paste. It contains 18% protein, rich in vitamin B especially niacin, B6 and folic
acid. It is fitted for flat bread especially because it lacks gluten.
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It is often ground into flour, rolled into large balls, parboiled, liquefied
into a watery paste using fermented milk and then consumed as a beverage. This
beverage called "fura" in Hausa, it is a popular drink in northern Nigeria.
Pearl millet is an excellent forage crop because of its low hydrocyanic
content. The green fodder is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and other
minerals with oxalic acids in safe limits. It is more digestible when fed green to
animals rather than chaffed straw (Chopra, 2001). The glumes and pericarp
"dusa, are also used in preparing feeds for livestock including poultry. The
stalks are used in making mulches and as fuel woods. People with celiac
diseases can replace certain gluten containing cereal in their diets with pearl
millet.
The agri-tourism and recreational wildlife industries are finding superior
results from using pearl millet in rations for bobwhite quail production (Savage
1995), and for supplemental feeding. It also seems to be an excellent feed for
other birds, including dove, turkey, song-birds, ducks, and swine.
It is equal to or better than typical maize-soybean poultry diets for broiler
production and can be fed at up to 10% of the ration without grinding (Davis,
Dale and Ferreira, 2003; Hidalgo, Davis, Dale and Dozier, 2004), thus reducing
feed processing costs.

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Ethanol use as an additive in formulated gasoline will increase. Wu,


Wang, Bean and Wilson (2006) observe that the rate of fermentation of pearl
millet was 30 % greater than rate of fermentation of corn, and distillers dried
grains with soluble (DDGS) crop products were higher in protein and fat. Less
ethanol is produced from pearl millet fermentation, but because of its higher
protein content, the yield and value of DDGS is greater, resulting in higher
economic return from pearl millet than from corn. Experiments indicate that
pearl millet can supplement maize and sorghum feed stocks for fuel ethanol
production (Hidalgo, Davis, Dale and Dozier, 2004). Ethanol production is a
potential future market for the grain, since few fermentation facilities currently
exist.
2.4.4 Pr
oso Millet
Proso millet can be used for different purposes, among these purposes are
Agri-horticulture: ornamental, cultivated, fodder decorations; Medicines:
diabetes, diarrhoea, dysentery; Drink: alcohol, stimulant; Phytochemistry:
hydrogen cyanide.
2.5

Wet Digestion

Wet digestion is the decomposition of a sample by the addition of liquid


reagents in order to solubilise it. Sample wet digestion is a method of converting
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the components of a matrix into simple chemical forms. This digestion is


produced by supplying energy, such as heat; by using a chemical reagent, such
as an acid; or by a combination of the two methods. Where a reagent is used, its
nature will depend on that of the matrix. The amount of reagent used is dictated
by the sample size which, in turn, depends on the sensitivity of the method of
determination. However, the process of putting a material into solution is often
the most critical step of the analytical process, because there are many sources
of potential errors, i.e., partial digestion of the analytes present, or some type of
contamination from the vessels of chemical products used.
The majority of wet digestion methods involve the use of some
combination of oxidizing acids (HNO3, hot conc. HClO4, hot conc. H2SO4) and
non-oxidizing acids (HCl, HF, H3PO4, dilute H2SO4, dilute HClO4) and
hydrogen peroxide. All of these acids are corrosive in nature, especially when
hot and concentrated, and should be handled with caution to avert injury and
accidents. Concentrated acids with the requisite high degree of purity are
available commercially, but they can be purified further by sub-boiling or
distillation.
Wet digestion has the advantage of being effective on both inorganic and
organic materials. It often destroys or removes the sample matrix, thus helping
to reduce or eliminate some types of interference.

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2.6

The Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer


Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) is a technique for measuring

quantities of chemical elements present in environmental samples by measuring


the radiation absorbed by the chemical element of interest. This is done by
reading the spectra produced when the sample is excited by radiation.
It requires standards with known analyte content to establish the relation
between the measured absorbance and the analyte concentration and relies
therefore on the Beer-Lambert Law.
In short, the electrons of the atoms in the atomizer can be promoted to
higher orbitals (excited state) for a short period of time (nanoseconds) by
absorbing a defined quantity of energy (radiation of a given wavelength). This
amount of energy, i.e., wavelength, is specific to a particular electron transition
in a particular element. In general, each wavelength corresponds to only one
element, and the width of an absorption line is only of the order of a few
picometers (pm), which gives the technique its elemental selectivity. The
radiation flux without a sample and with a sample in the atomizer is measured
using a detector, and the ratio between the two values (the absorbance) is
converted to analyte concentration or mass using the Beer-Lambert Law.

16

CHAPTER THREE
MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1

Reagents

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The reagents used during the experiment were Nitric acid (HNO3), and
de-ionized water. The strength of the acid was tested by titration before the
experiment and found to be of analytical grade.
3.2
i.
ii.

Apparatus
Glass wares used were 250ml beakers, volumetric flasks (100ml),
measuring cylinder, glass spatula, burettes and pipettes.
Four crucibles, EDTA plastic sample bottles, agate mortar, retort stand

and electrical analytical balance, filters and hot plates.


iii. Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (A.A.S) 969 computer control.
3.3

Sampling
The samples were randomly selected from farmers in the Makurdi Local

Government Area of Benue State. The grains of each cereal sample were
harvested from their respective plants on the 20th October, 2014.
The collected samples were then taken to the taxonomist (Herbarium
Keeper) of the biological Science Department, Benue State University Makurdi
for identification and authentication. They were later identified as Zea mays,
Sorghum vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum.
3.4

Pre-treatment of Samples
The corn grain sample was washed in tap water and then rinsed with

distilled water to clear away any impurities. It was then allowed the air-dry on
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the working bench of the chemistry laboratory Benue State University, for two
weeks after which it was then crushed using an Agate mortar and pestle, before
being sieved to obtain finely divided powder. The same procedure was carried
out on the guinea corn, pearl millet and proso millet grain samples.
3.5

Sample Digestion for the Determination of, Mg, Fe, Ca, and Zn by
A.A.S.
1g of each sample was weighed into four different crucibles labelled

Corn, G. Corn, P. Millet and Proso Millet respectively. 15ml of the


Concentrated Nitric acid was then added into each crucible.
The crucibles were then arranged on a hot plate which was then heated to
a temperature of 80oC at which temperature digestion began with some form of
bubbling and agitation.
The digestion lasted for about 30 minutes with the evolution of brown
Nitrogen (IV) oxide (NO2) fumes continuously indicating the oxidizing effect of
HNO3. The evolution of fumes ceased at about 25 minutes of digestion but
heating continued for the next five minutes until all solid was dissolved. During
the heating de-ionized water was added occasionally until a clear solution was
noticed.

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After cooling, the digests were filtered into a standard flask. The
crucibles were properly rinsed with distilled water and emptied into the flasks.
The flask was finally made up to the 100 cm3 mark with distilled water.
The digests were then transferred into EDTA plastic sample bottles to be
stored for further use.
3.6

Preparation of Standard Solutions


A 0.02g of FeSO4 was dissolved in 100ml of distilled water and the

solution made up to 500ml giving 15mg of Iron (Fe). Serial dilution was carried
out to give 2mg, 4mg, 6mg, 10mg and 12mg respectively.
Similarly, standard for zinc (Zn) was prepared in the same way using
0.02g of ZnSO4. The same procedure was repeated for Ca (0.02g), and Mg
(0.02g) using CaSO3, and MgSO4 respectively.
3.7

Determination of Mineral Elements by A.A.S


The calibration curve is obtained by aspirating the various concentrations

of the standard produced by serial dilution. Use of the lamp begins with the
standard.
The digest samples were then aspirated using the correct hollow cathode
lamp for the element of interest (analyte); with the appropriate slit and

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wavelength selected for such an element. The calibration curve for each element
was automatically displayed on the monitor upon aspiration.
Concentration were obtained in mg/l from A.A.S. the Atomic Absorption
Spectrometer was used to analyse for Ca, Fe, Mg and Zn, and their final
concentrations were given in mg/l.
Calculation

mg/g =

mg
blank
l
wieig ht of sample 10
conc .

Conc. In percentage =

conc .

mg
dilution factor
l
100

1000000
1

Where dilution factor = 100


All the determined elements are presented in percentages.

CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
21

4.1

Results and Discussion


The chemical content and mineral element levels in Zea mays, Sorghum

Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum are presented below as


were obtained from the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (A.A.S) by wet
digestion.
4.2

Results

4.2.1 Results from Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (A.A.S)


The concentrations of Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Iron (Fe) and
Zinc (Zn) were determined by A.A.S by wet digestion given in mg/l and mg/g.
The raw data for these elements are presented in the table 9 below.
Table 2: Table Showing Raw Data Concentrations of Mineral Elements in
mg/l as were obtained from A.A.S.
Fe (mg/l)
Sample
G. Corn
Corn
Pearl millet
Proso millet

1.7021
1.7152
1.6982
1.7617

Concentration
Mg (mg/l)
Zn (mg/l)
4.7834
4.7810
4.7433
4.7361

0.5674
0.3605
0.6226
0.5487

Ca (mg/l)
942.26
963.16
1196.239
1106.072

Table 3: Table Showing Raw Data Concentrations of Mineral Elements in


mg/g as were obtained from A.A.S.
Sample
G. corn
Corn

Fe (mg/g)
0.15316
0.15447

Concentration
Mg (mg/g)
Zn (mg/g)
0.47834
0.0523
0.4781
0.03161
22

Ca (mg/g)
94.226
96.316

Pearl millet
Proso millet

0.15277
0.15912

0.47433
0.47361

0.05782
0.05043

119.6239
110.6072

The mean concentration for each element were calculated for Guinea
corn, Corn, Pearl Millet and Proso millet and entered into their respective
columns in table 9 above. The mean concentrations in mg/l are converted to
percentage element using the relationship below:

Concentration in percentage (%) =

conc .

mg
dilution factor
l
100

1000000
1

volume of digest 100


Dilution factor = weig h t of sample = 1 =100

Example:
Iron in Guinea corn has a mean concentration of 8.5560mg/l and can be
converted to percentage calcium as:

%Mg in G. Corn =

4.7384 100 100

=0.047384
1000000
1

This conversion applies to all concentrations of the other elements and


percentage results are presented in table 10 below.
Table 4: Table Showing Percentages of Elements in Guinea Corn, Corn,
Pearl Millet and Proso Millet
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Sample
G. Corn
Corn
Pearl millet
Proso millet

Fe
0.017021
0.017152
0.016982
0.0176

Concentration (%)
Mg
Zn
0.047834
0.005674
0.04781
0.003605
0.047433
0.006226
0.047
0.005487

Ca
9.4226
9.6316
11.96239
11.06072

From the experiment performed the mineral composition of Zea mays,


Sorghum Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum are shown
above in percentage concentration.
Pearl millet has the highest concentration of calcium at (11.962%)
followed by proso millet at (11.06072%), followed by corn at (9.6316%) and at
last G. corn with a calcium concentration of (9.4226%).
Pearl millet has the highest concentration of zinc at (0.006226%)
followed by G. Corn at (0.005674%) which is then followed by proso millet at
(0.005487%) with corn coming up last at (0.003605%).
Guinea corn has the highest concentration of magnesium at (0.047834%),
followed by corn at (0.04781%) which is then followed by pearl millet at
(0.047433%) with proso millet coming up last at (0.047%).
Proso millet has the highest concentration of iron at (0.0176%), followed
by Corn at (0.017152%) which is then followed by guinea corn at (0.017021%)
with pearl millet coming up last at (0.016982%).
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4.3

Discussion
The data on the percentages of the mineral nutrients of the samples in the

table 10 shows a very little variation between the concentration of the different
elements (Fe, Ca, Mg and Zn) of the different samples.
From the percentage concentration of the cereals Zea mays, Sorghum
Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum miliaceum have a range of
concentration of the elements Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg) and
Zinc (Zn) as shown in the table below.

Table 5: Percentage Concentration Range


Element
Iron (Fe)
Magnesium (Mg)
Zinc (Zn)
Calcium (Ca)

% Concentration Range
0.017 0.018
0.047 0.048
0.004 0.006
9.422 11.962

From the data shown in table 10 above, it is seen that the elemental
composition of Zea mays, Sorghum Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum
miliaceum are approximately in the same range of values.

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The elemental composition of cereal shows that cereal is necessary for


the body. The cereal guinea corn contains the highest concentration of
magnesium (Mg) which is used to keep the heart healthy by controlling blood
pressure and helps breakdown carbohydrates, fat and other nutrients in the body
to produce energy Thus, guinea corn is recommended for people with high
blood pressure.
Pearl millet contains the highest concentration of Calcium (Ca) which is
the main building block of our bones and teeth. Without enough calcium in the
body the body draws calcium from our bones, thus, making them weaker. Thus,
pearl millet is recommended for growing children.
Proso millet contains the highest concentration of Iron (Fe) which helps
with brain development, and the forming of haemoglobin in the red blood cells
which help carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. This cereal is
recommended for growing children and also recently delivered mothers.
Pearl millet also contains the highest concentration of Zinc (Zn) which
helps strengthen the body immune system, heal wounds and helps the normal
growth and development of the body. Thus, this cereal is recommended for
everyday use for the general populace.

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From the uses of elements Zn, Ca, Fe and Mg in the body, cereals are
highly nutritious and highly recommended because of the high elemental
concentration of these elements in cereals.

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1

Summary
The study on the elemental chemical analysis to determine the mineral

content of cereals Zea mays, Sorghum Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and


Panicum miliaceum reviews that:
The grains of the sample plants contain several elements in different
concentrations. The concentration of the elements in the grain divides the
elements into two groups, namely; the macro essential elements and micro trace
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elements. The elements determined in this research work were four of the macro
essential elements namely Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and Zinc
(Zn).
From the analysis of the data gotten during the experimental stage of this
research work, the percentage concentration of the four elements Iron (Fe),
Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and Zinc (Zn) were gotten. The percentage
concentration of each element was found to be essential in both human and
animal diet.
5.2

Conclusion
From the results, it could be concluded the mineral elements distribution

in the cereals Zea mays, Sorghum Vulgare, Pennisetum glaucum and Panicum
miliaceum is cited in the table 10.
The cereal samples have high concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium
(Mg), Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) which is are necessary for bone development,
controlling of blood pressure and production of energy, healing of wounds and
strengthening of the immune system and for brain development and
haemoglobin production in the body. Therefore, it can be said that cereal is
necessary for the body.
5.3

Recommendation

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After undertaking this research work, the following recommendations


could be considered and taken under account:
Nutritionists should carry out further research analysis into other
elements found in cereals to determine their uses in the animal/human
body.
Chemists should use this data on the chemical composition and elemental
concentrations of cereals to help create fertilizers that have the necessary
nutrients for cereals.
Food technologists should carry out further research into cereals using the
data found in this research to help improve on their uses in the human
body.
Teachers should use the data found in this research work to update their
knowledge on cereal grains.
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