Send to

Choose Destination
J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 29;52(26):8132-6.

In vitro iron availability from iron-fortified whole-grain wheat flour.

Author information

Unilever Health Institute, Unilever Research and Development Vlaardingen, P.O. Box 114, 3130 AC Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.


Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide. Iron fortification of foods is considered to be the most cost-effective long-term approach to reduce iron deficiency. However, for fortified foods to be effective in reducing iron deficiency, the added iron must be sufficiently bioavailable. In this study, fortification of whole-grain wheat flour with different sources of iron was evaluated in vitro by measuring the amount of dialyzable iron after simulated gastrointestinal digestion of flour baked into chapatis and subsequent intestinal absorption of the released iron using Caco-2 cell layers. The dialyzability of iron from iron-fortified wheat flour was extremely low. Additions of 50 mg/kg iron to the flour in the form of ferrous sulfate, Ferrochel amino acid chelate, ferric amino acid chelate taste free (TF), Lipofer, ferrous lactate, ferrous fumarate, ferric pyrophosphate, carbonyl iron, or electrolytic iron did not significantly increase the amount of in vitro dialyzable iron after simulated gastrointestinal digestion. In contrast, fortification of flour with SunActive Fe or NaFeEDTA resulted in a significant increase in the amount of in vitro dialyzable iron. Relative to iron from ferrous sulfate, iron from SunActive Fe and NaFeEDTA appeared to be 2 and 7 times more available in the in vitro assay, respectively. Caco-2 cell iron absorption from digested chapatis fortified with NaFeEDTA, but not from those fortified with SunActive Fe, was significantly higher than from digested chapatis fortified with ferrous sulfate. On the basis of these results it appears that fortification with NaFeEDTA may result in whole-grain wheat flour that effectively improves the iron status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center