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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008 Mar;63(1):7-13. Epub 2007 Nov 15.

Bioavailability of calcium, iron and zinc fortified whole wheat flour chapatti.

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  • 1Department of Food Technology, University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, 46000, Pakistan.


The bioavailability and interactive effects of calcium, iron and zinc fortified whole wheat flour chapattis on female Sprague-Dawley albino rats were determined. The whole wheat flour was fortified with CaCO3, FeSO4 and ZnSO4 at 1000, 40 and 20 mg/kg, respectively and fed to 64 female Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 weeks. Retention of Ca, Fe and Zn was determined in plasma, femur and liver tissues. Ca levels in plasma and liver did not alter significantly while the Ca retention in femur changed significantly with the change in fortificants. The calcium retention was higher in the femur of rats fed on the diet supplemented with Ca + Zn (221 +/- 13.61 mg/g) than the rats fed on the diet supplemented with Ca + Fe (219 +/- 18.92 mg/g). The iron in plasma, liver and femur ranged from 2.19 +/- 0.11 to 2.77 +/- 0.10 microg/ml, 203.5 +/- 13.24 to 251.5 +/- 17.19 microg/g and 43.5 +/- 1.05 to 52 +/- 2.07 microg/g while zinc content ranged from 1.31 +/- 0.089 to 1.55 +/- 0.114 microg/ml, 89.5 +/- 3.41 to 132 +/- 6.10 microg/g and 175 +/- 8.29 to 191 +/- 10.85 microg/g, respectively. The minerals interacted with each other resulting in decrease of bioavailability among each other. The absorption was higher in the rats fed on fortified diet than those fed on unfortified chapatti diet. Hence, it is concluded that fortification of whole wheat flour is feasible to overcome the Ca, Fe and Zn malnutrition in the vulnerable groups.

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