The aim of this study was to review the published literature values for the selenium content of Australian foods. A secondary aim was to compare the results for Australian foods with food composition data from international sources to investigate the extent of geographical variation. Published food composition data sources for the selenium content in Australian foods were identified and assessed for data quality using established criteria. The selenium content is available for 148 individual food items. The highest values found are for fish (12.0–63.2 μg/100 g), meats (4.75–37.9 μg/100 g) and eggs (9.00–41.4 μg/100 g), followed by cereals (1.00–20.3 μg/100 g). Moderate levels are seen in dairy products (2.00–7.89 μg/100 g) while most fruits and vegetables have low levels (trace—3.27 μg/100 g). High selenium foods show the greatest level of geographical variation, with foods from the United States generally having higher selenium levels than Australian foods and foods from the United Kingdom and New Zealand having lower levels. This is the first attempt to review the available literature for selenium composition of Australian foods. These data serve as an interim measure for the assessment of selenium intake for use in epidemiological studies of diet–disease relationships.
Available online 29 June 2002.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified