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Effects of Fertilization, Crop Year, Variety, and Provenance Factors on Mineral Concentrations in Onions

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2006, 00:00 by Kaoru Ariyama, Tadashi Nishida, Tomoaki Noda, Masashi Kadokura, Akemi Yasui
Mineral concentrations of onions (Allium cepa L.) grown under various conditions, including factors (fertilization, crop year, variety, and provenance), were investigated to clarify how much each factor contributes to the variation of their concentrations. This was because the mineral concentrations might be affected by various factors. The ultimate goal of this study was to develop a technique to determine the geographic origins of onions by mineral composition. Samples were onions grown under various conditions at 52 fields in 18 farms in Hokkaido, Japan. Twenty-six elements (Li, Na, Mg, Al, P, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Y, Mo, Cd, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Nd, Gd, W, and Tl) in these samples were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Fertilization conditions and crop years of onions caused variations of P, Ni, Cu, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cs, and Tl concentrations in onions; different onion varieties also showed variations in numerous element concentrations. However, the variations of mineral compositions of onions by these factors were smaller than the differences between production places with a few exceptions. Furthermore, Na, Rb, and Cs in group IA of the periodic table, Ca, Sr, and Ba in group IIA, and Zn and Cd in group IIB showed similar concentration patterns by group; this result demonstrated that elements in the same periodic groups behaved similarly in terms of their absorption in onions. Keywords: Onion; mineral; geographic origin; fertilization experiment; correlation; element concentration