Minerals are essential inorganic substances that need to be obtained from food. Minerals are divided into macrominerals and trace elements, depending on their concentration in the organism. Macrominerals are found in the human body at a concentration of more than 50 mg/kg of body weight, whereas the concentration of trace elements in the body is 50 mg/kg body weight at the most. Iron is an exception. Its concentration is at around 60 mg/kg body weight. However, due to its mode of action, iron is still categorised as a trace element.

Which elements are macrominerals and which are trace elements?

Macrominerals include the following metals

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • sodium

and the following non-metals

  • chlorine
  • phosphorus
  • sulphur

These elements are also referred to as electrolytes since they are ionogenic in watery environment.

Essential trace elements include the following substances:

  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • copper
  • fluorine
  • iodine
  • iron
  • manganese
  • molybdenum
  • selenium
  • zinc


ifp Institut für Produktqualität offers mineral analysis as a service. Detection is done by means of atom absorption spectrometry (AAS) after decomposing/mineralising the samples with acid in a microwave.