Encapsulation of Iron and Other Micronutrients for Food Fortification



Iodine, vitamin A and iron deficiencies are important global public health problems, particularly for preschool children and pregnant women in low-income countries (World Health Organization 2000). These deficiencies are mainly due to monotonous, poor-quality diets that do not meet nutrient requirements. In countries where existing food supplies and/or limited access fail to provide adequate levels of these nutrients in the diet, food fortification is a promising approach. Co-fortification of foods with iron, iodine and vitamin A may be advantageous due to beneficial interactions of these micronutrients in metabolism. Studies in animals and humans have shown that iron deficiency anemia (IDA) impairs thyroid metabolism (Zimmermann et al. 2000a, 2000b; Hess et al. 2002a, 2002b). Vitamin A deficiency may exacerbate anemia through impairment of iron metabolism (Semba and Bloem 2002). Vitamin A, together with iodine, may reduce thyroid hyperstimulation and risk for goiter (Zimmermann et al. 2007). These micronutrient interactions strongly argue for multiple micronutrient fortification. However, food fortification with iron is not straightforward.


Phytic Acid Ferrous Sulfate Iodine Content Retinyl Palmitate Food Fortification 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Human Nutrition, Institute for Food Science and NutritionSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)ZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Laboratory of Food Process Engineering, Institute of Food Science and NutritionSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)ZürichSwitzerland

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