In some regions of the world, where the bioavailability of selenium (Se) in soil is low and/or declining (e.g., due to use of high-sulfur fertilizers), there is increased risk of adverse affects on animals and human health. In recent years, increased research attention has focused on understanding the relationships between Se contents in foods and supplements and their nutritional benefits for animal and humans. The objective of this study was to use a species-unspecific isotope dilution and reverse phase ion pairing−inductively coupled plasma−mass spectrometry techniques for the identification and quantification of Se species in biofortified grains (i.e., wheat and triticale), flour, and wheat biscuits.
The information on Se species was used to gain an understanding of the bioavailability of Se in biofortified and process-fortified wheat biscuits used in a clinical trial. The major Se species identified in biofortified and process-fortified samples were selenomethionine (76–85%) and selenomethionine selenoxide (51–60%), respectively. Total plasma Se concentrations in the biofortified Se exposure group were found to increase throughout the 6 month trial period (mean = 122 µg L−1 at 0 months to 194 µg L−1 at 6 months). In contrast, the trial group exposed to process-fortified Se biscuits showed little increase in mean total Se plasma concentrations until 4 months of exposure (mean = 122 µg L−1 at 0 months to 140 µg L−1 at 4 months) that remained constant until the end of the trial period (mean = 140 µg L−1 at 4 months to 138 µg L−1 at 6 months).
The difference in total Se plasma concentrations may be due to the presence and bioavailability of different Se species in biofortified and process-fortified biscuits. An understanding of Se speciation in foods enables better understanding of pathways and their potential benefits for animals and humans.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2008) 56 (5) 1772-1779 [doi: 10.1021/jf073030v]