Dietary Supply of Selenium for Adolescents in Three Residential Care Orphanages in Southern Ghana

Sci Total Environ. 2011 Dec 1;410-411:72-9. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.09.039. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Adolescents require optimum dietary supply of the essential trace mineral selenium (Se); however the absence of reliable and accurate data on the dietary supply of selenium for the adolescent population in Ghanaian residential care orphanages have made it difficult for public health nutritionists to assess the adequacy of the dietary supply. The dietary supply of selenium for adolescents (12-15 years) in three residential care orphanages, (Osu, Tutu-Akwapim and Teshie), in Southern Ghana have been evaluated by sampling their 24-h duplicate diets (including water) for 7-consecutive days using the duplicate diet sampling technique. The mass fraction of selenium in the blended lyophilized homogenates of duplicate diets was determined by radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA). The validity of the RNAA method for selenium determination was checked by analyses of NIST SRM 1548a (Typical diet). The chemical yield of the radiochemical separation was determined by spectrophotometry. The average mass fractions of selenium in the blended lyophilized 24-hour duplicate diets for Osu, Tutu-Akwapim and Teshie were; 165±61 [117.2-285.2], 203±68 [110.5-304.9] and 250±92 [128.8-408.0]ng Seg(-1) lyophilized matter respectively. The average dietary supply of Se were, 57.6±17.3 [42.2-88.4], 82.0±30.7 [44.3-136.2] and 91.7±44.2 [46.0-153.4]μg Se day(-1) for Osu, Tutu-Akwapim and Teshie orphanages respectively. The data generated will help public health nutritionists in the provision of dietary advice and nutritional support for the studied orphanages, as well as other orphanages. The data will also help in the planning of institutional diets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diet
  • Ghana
  • Humans
  • Neutron Activation Analysis / methods*
  • Orphanages
  • Public Health
  • Selenium / analysis*
  • Trace Elements / analysis*


  • Trace Elements
  • Selenium