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Boron in Food

Boron content in food

Boron content of some common foods
Food Boron concentration in mg/kg, fresh weight basis
Hunt et al. (1991) Anderson et al. (1994b)
Fruits
Apple, red with peel, raw 2.73 2.38
Apple juice 1.88 2.41
Apple sauce 2.83 1.04
Banana, raw - 3.72
Cherries, dark 1.47 0.92
Grape juice 2.02 2.06
Orange juice 0.41 1.59
Peaches, canned 1.87 -
Pears, canned 1.22 -
Dried fruits
Dates 9.2 -
Prunes 27 21.5
Raisins 25 19.0
Vegetables
Beans, green 0.46 1.56
Broccoli, flowers 1.85 -
Broccoli, stalks 0.89 -
Lettuce, iceberg <0.015 -
Carrots, canned 0.75 -
Nuts
Almonds 23 -
Hazelnuts 16 -
Peanuts 18 13.8
Meats
Beef, round, ground, raw <0.015 <0.05
Chicken, breast, ground, raw <0.015 0.09
Turkey breast <0.015 -
Milk & milk products
Cheese, cream <0.015 0.19
Milk, 2% <0.015 0.23
Cereal grain products
Bread, white, enriched 0.20 0.48
Cornflakes fortified 0.31 0.92
Flour, wheat, white 0.28 -
Noodles,egg, dry, enriched 0.37 -
Rice, white, instant <0.015 -
Spaghetti, dry, enriched <0.015 -
Miscellaneous
Catsup 0.85 1.39
Eggs, homogen-ized <0.015 0.12
Honey 7.2 6.07
Jelly, strawberry 0.41 -
Jelly, grape 1.47 1.86
Sugar, white <0.015 0.29
Beverages Boron concentration in µg/ml
Wine - 3.5
Beer 1.8 0.13

Source & © IPCS Environmental Health Criteria for Boron (EHC 204), chapter 5.2.4 "Dietary intake" 

How much food would I have to eat each day to reach the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI)?

The amount of food which has to be eaten per day to reach the TDI depends

  • on the amount of boron in each food, and
  • on the body weight of the individual adult or child.

The US EPA has established a standard body weight of 70 kg for an adult, and has also established median body weights of 13.2 kg for a child aged 1-3 years, and 24.9 kg for a child aged 1-14 years (Ref US-EPA, 2002).

small children (1-3y) - children (1-14y) - adults

Small children: Foods with a relatively high boron content which are suitable for small children include bananas (up to 3.7 mg boron/kg), apples (up to 2.7 mg boron/kg) and dried fruits such as prunes and raisins (at up to 27 mg boron/kg). A small child weighing 13.2 kg would need to eat more than sixty times the average daily amount of these foods each day to reach the TDI, as shown in the table below.

Boron Consumption for a small child (13.2 kg body weight)
Food Daily amount needed to reach the TDI Average daily amount eaten (age 1-2) (REF US EPA 2002)
Bananas 1.4 kg 0.022 kg
Apples 1.9 kg 0.024 kg
Dried Fruit (Prunes, Raisins) 0.2 kg 0.002 kg

Children: Older children are also able to eat nuts, such as peanuts and almonds, which have boron contents of up to 23 mg boron/kg. The table below shows that the median child aged 1-14 years and weighing almost 25 kg would need to eat more than 80 times the average daily consumption of these foods to reach the TDI.

Boron Consumption for a mid-range child (24.9 kg body weight)
Food Daily amount needed to reach the TDI Average daily amount eaten (age 6-14) (REF US EPA 2002)
Bananas 2.7 kg 0.008 to 0.011 kg
Apples 3.7 kg 0.021 to 0.028 kg
Dried Fruit (Prunes, Raisins) 0.4 kg Less than 0.0005 kg
Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts) 0.4 kg 0.005 kg

Adults: Adults weigh more than children, and thus have to eat even more boron-containing food to reach the TDI. Detailed average consumption figures for different types of food are not given in the EPA report for adults, but the values given for male children aged 12 to 19 should be comparable, or perhaps higher than the average adult consumption. The table below shows that the average adult would need to eat more than 200 times the average daily amount consumed by a teenaged male in order to reach the TDI for boron.

Boron Consumption for an adult (70 kg body weight)
Food Daily amount needed to reach the TDI Average daily amount eaten (male age 12-19) (REF US EPA 2002)
Bananas 7.5 kg 0.008 kg
Apples 10.3 kg 0.013 kg
Dried Fruit (Prunes, Raisins) 1.0 kg 0.001 kg
Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts) 1.2 kg 0.005 kg

However, it would be possible for an individual adult or child to consume enough food with a high boron content to reach the TDI, on any specific day. This would be most likely for a small child, for whom consumption of over 200 g of prunes or raisins on a single day would exceed the TDI for boron on that day.

However, the TDI represents a tolerable daily intake for a life-time exposure. Occasional exceeding of the TDI may not necessarily lead to health consequences, provided that the averaged intake over longer periods remains below it.

Source & © Dr. Kay Fox for GreenFacts, based on a comparison between data from

Related publication:
Boron homeBoron
Other Figures & Tables on this publication:

Boron - Units and Measurement Methods

Boron in Food