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Vegetables, Herbs and Spices.

VEGETABLES, HERBS and SPICES, 5th supplement to McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods (4th edition), by B Holland, I D Unwin and D H Buss. 163 pages with index. Price: 27.50 [pounds]. (UK: Royal Society of Chemistry) Following publication of the 4th edition of The Composition of Foods in 1978, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food took on responsibility for maintaining and updating the official tables of food composition in the UK. In 1987 the Ministry joined with the Royal Society of Chemistry to begin production of a computerised UK National Nutrient Databank from which future supplements to the aforementioned book are being produced. As the nutrient values for each food group are updated and other data added, these are being merged with previously published data to bring the Databank progressively up to date.

This text details information on vegetables, like potatoes, beans and lentils, peas and vegetables in general, and herbs and spices. Taking a random heading like Main crop potatoes, Old potatoes, Desiree, raw, one finds details of the flesh only so that the water, total nitrogen and protein, fat and carbohydrates are identified along with the energy value. Further tables indicate the starch and total sugars present and these are broken down into glucose, fructose, maltose and lactose, and dietary fibre is indicated by the Southgate and Englyst methods. Cellulose in its soluble and insoluble forms is identified as is lignin. Then the text lists the inorganic constituents per 100g, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, sulphur, chloride, magnesium, selenium and iodine. There is then a further list showing vitamins per 100g; these include retinol, carotene, vitamin D, vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin, tryptophan, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenate, biotin and vitamin C. The number of vegetables and varieties listed seems infinite but obviously it is very wide.

The herbs and spices are tackled in a similar manner and the text concludes with six useful appendices and a food index.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:327
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