Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 295–309 | Cite as

Minerals in plant food: effect of agricultural practices and role in human health. A review

  • M. C. Martínez-Ballesta
  • R. Dominguez-Perles
  • D. A. Moreno
  • B. Muries
  • C. Alcaraz-López
  • E. Bastías
  • C. García-Viguera
  • M. CarvajalEmail author
Review article


Interest in nutrient absorption and accumulation is derived from the need to increase crop productivity by better nutrition and also to improve the nutritional quality of plants as foods and feeds. This review focuses on contrasting data on the importance for human health of food mineral nutrients (Ca, Mg, K, Na and P) and also the trace elements considered essential or beneficial for human health (Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Se and Zn). In addition, environmental stresses such as salinity, drought, extreme temperatures and light conditions that affect mineral content were revised in the light that the effect of these factors depends on the species or cultivar, and the specific plant organ, as well as the intensity and duration of the stress. Differences between inorganic and organic fertilisation practices on the mineral levels were also analysed to evaluate the influence of external factors on the quality of plant-based foods.


Selenium Mineral Content Selenite Fruit Quality Leafy Vegetable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Martínez-Ballesta
    • 1
  • R. Dominguez-Perles
    • 2
  • D. A. Moreno
    • 2
  • B. Muries
    • 1
  • C. Alcaraz-López
    • 1
  • E. Bastías
    • 3
  • C. García-Viguera
    • 2
  • M. Carvajal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Plant Nutrition DepartmentCEBAS-CSICMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Food Science and Technology DepartmentCEBAS-CSICMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Producción Agrícola, Facultad de Ciencias AgronómicasUniversidad de TarapacáAricaChile

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