Nutritional Characterization of Street Food in Urban Turkmenistan, Central Asia

Gabriela Albuquerque*, Sofia Sousa, Inês Lança de Morais, Marcello Gelormini, Carla Motta, Gerard Bryan Gonzales, Azat Ovezov, Albertino Damasceno, Pedro Moreira, João Breda, Nuno Lunet, Patrícia Padrão

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Describing the availability and nutritional composition of the most commonly available street foods in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Methods: One hundred sixty-one street food vending sites (six public markets) were assessed, through a collection of data on vending sites' characteristics and food availability, and samples of commonly available foods (21 homemade; 11 industrial), for chemical analysis. Results: Fruit, beverages, and food other than fruit were available in 6.8, 29.2, and 91.9% of all vending sites, respectively. Regarding the latter, 52.7% of the vending sites sold only homemade products (main dishes, snacks, cakes, biscuits and pastries, bread, ice-cream chocolate and confectionery, savory pastries and sandwiches), 37.2% only industrial (ice-cream, chocolate and confectionery, cakes, biscuits and pastries, snacks, bread and savory pastries) and 10.1% both. Homemade foods presented significantly higher total fat [homemade 11.6 g (range 6.6–19.4 g); industrial 6.2 g (range 4.0–8.6 g), p = 0.001], monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans-fat, and sodium and potassium content per serving. Industrial wafers presented the highest mean saturated (11.8 g/serving) and trans-fat (2.32 g/serving) content. Homemade hamburgers presented the highest mean sodium content (1889 mg/serving). Conclusions: Strategies to encourage the production and sales of healthier street foods, especially homemade, are needed to promote healthier urban food environments in urban Turkmenistan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number877906
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2022


  • Central Asia
  • food processing
  • nutritional value
  • ready-prepared foods
  • street food
  • Turkmenistan


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