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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 25;57(22):10804-8. doi: 10.1021/jf902124w.

Oxalate content of silver beet leaves (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) at different stages of maturation and the effect of cooking with different milk sources.

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  • 1Food Group, Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.


The work presented here indicates that people who have a tendency to develop kidney stones should avoid consuming regrowth and developed silver beet (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) leaves. Soluble oxalate contents of leaves range from 58% of the total oxalate for the mature leaves up to 89% for the regrowth tissue, with regrowth tissue containing the highest levels of soluble oxalate at 7267+/-307 mg/100 g of dry matter (DM). Leaves cooked in milk contained significantly (p<0.05) lower levels of soluble oxalate compared to the leaves that were cooked in water. Leaves cooked in low fat milk contained significantly lower levels (p<0.05) of soluble oxalate (1.9%) than leaves cooked in standard milk (5.3%) or cream (6.3%). To maximize the reduction of soluble oxalate during the cooking of high oxalate foods such as spinach and silver beet, a low fat milk cooking medium with neutral pH should be utilized.

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