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Iron Compound With Magnesium/Calcium Is Bioavailable Without Changing Food Color

November 4, 2010: 03:14 AM EST

Swiss researchers experimenting with ways to make iron compounds added to foods more bioavailable have developed a form of iron oxide that is more acid soluble, is absorbed better in the intestines, and does not adversely affect sensory characteristics. Fortifying foods with iron can be difficult because water-soluble iron compounds are bioavailable but change the color of foods. Other iron compounds may not change the color of food, but the iron isn’t absorbed well in the gut. To develop the iron compound, the researchers applied scalable flame aerosol technology to iron oxide-based nanostructured compounds with added magnesium and calcium, then added the compound to chocolate milk and fruit yogurt. The result: solubility and bioavailability were much better while “sensory changes … were less pronounced.”

Florentine M. Hilty, Jesper T.N. Knijnenburg, et al. , "Incorporation of Mg and Ca into Nanostructured Fe2O3 Improves Fe Solubility in Dilute Acid and Sensory Characteristics in Foods", Food Science, November 04, 2010, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc
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