Author(s): Brogren M
Leafy vegetables such as spinach (Spinacia oleracea) are known to contain moderate amounts of soluble and insoluble oxalates. Frozen commercially available spinach in New Zealand contains 736.6+/-20.4 mg/100g wet matter (WM) soluble oxalate and 220.1+/-96.5mg/100g WM insoluble oxalate. The frozen spinach contained 90mg total calcium/100g WM, 76.7%of this calcium was unavailable as it was bound to oxalate as insoluble oxalate. The oxalate/calcium (mEq) ratio of the frozen spinach was 4.73. When frozen convenience food is grilled there is no opportunity for the soluble oxalates to be leached out into the cooking water and discarded. Soluble oxalates, when consumed, have the ability to bind to calcium in the spinach and any calcium in foods consumed with the spinach, reducing the absorption of soluble oxalate. In this experiment 10 volunteers ingested 100g grilled spinach alone or with 100g additions of cottage cheese, sour cream and sour cream with Calci-Trim milk (180 g) and finally, with 20g olive oil. The availability of oxalate in the spinach was determined by measuring the oxalate output in the urine over a 6-hour and 24-hour period after intake of the test meal. The mean bioavailability of soluble oxalate in the grilled spinach was 0.75+/-0.48% over a 6-hour period after intake and was 1.93+/-0.85% measured over a 24-hour period. Addition of sour cream and Calci-Trim milk reduced the availability of the oxalate in the spinach significantly (P<0.05) in both the 6-hour and 24-hour collection periods.