Results of the BfR MEAL Study: The food type has a stronger impact on calcium, potassium and phosphorus levels than factors such as seasonality, regionality and type of production
The BfR MEAL Study aims to provide representative levels of chemical substances in foods consumed by the population in Germany for dietary exposure assessment. Calcium, potassium and phosphorus (Ca, K, P) are essential to obtain physiological functions in humans. Levels were investigated in 356 foods. Foods were purchased representatively, prepared as typically consumed and pooled before analysis. High mean levels were found in milk, dairy products, legumes, nuts, oilseeds and spices as well as chia seeds (Ca, K, P), chewing gum (Ca) and cocoa powder (K). Different levels comparing organically and conventionally produced foods were determined among others in cereal cracker (puffed), olives and tofu. Higher K levels were found in fried compared to boiled potatoes. Similar P levels were mainly found in regionally and seasonally sampled foods. These data provide a substantially improved basis to address dietary exposure assessment of the population in Germany for Ca, K and P.