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  • 1 URSN-ITN, Technological and Nuclear Institute, E.N. 10, 2686-953 Sacavém, Portugal
  • 2 CERENA-IST, Technical University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
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Abstract  

An extensive investigation of elemental levels in cereals and their cultivation soils has been going on across the main production areas of mainland Portugal, with a view to an eventual biofortification of major cultivars through agronomic practices. Cereals are an obvious choice as primary vehicles for food-supplementation programs, especially in countries where they definitely weigh in the dietary intake (like Portugal), and regions whose geographical and/or pedological features may account for nutrient deficiencies in typical diets. Mature rye plants (Secale cereale L.; roots and grains) and local soils were collected in the summer of 2009 from two regions of northern Portugal, and put through k0-standardized, instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0-INAA). Overall, the results (elemental concentrations, enrichment factors, transfer coefficients) seem to confirm an efficient uptake of elements from soil and their translocation to the aerial parts of the plants, notably to the ones that really matter in human nutrition (grains).