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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 19;53(21):8342-8.

Relative contribution of phytates, fibers, and tannins to low iron and zinc in vitro solubility in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) flour and grain fractions.

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  • 1Centre IRD de Montpellier, UR 106 Nutrition, Alimentation, Sociétés, BP 64501, 911, Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


In vitro digestions were performed on pearl millet flours with decreased phytate contents and on two dephytinized or nondephytinized pearl millet grain fractions, a decorticated fraction, and a bran fraction with low and high fiber and tannin contents, respectively. Insoluble residues of these digestions were then incubated with buffer or enzymatic solutions (xylanases and/or phytases), and the quantities of indigestible iron and zinc released by these different treatments were determined. In decorticated pearl millet grain, iron was chelated by phytates and by insoluble fibers, whereas zinc was almost exclusively chelated by phytates. In the bran of pearl millet grain, a high proportion of iron was chelated by iron-binding phenolic compounds, while the rest of iron as well as the majority of zinc were chelated in complexes between phytates and fibers. The low effect of phytase action on iron and zinc solubility of bran of pearl millet grain shows that, in the case of high fiber and tannin contents, the chelating effect of these compounds was higher than that of phytates.

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