In Vitro and in Vivo Bioavailability in Rat of Four Different Iron Sources Used to Fortify Dry Infant Cereal

  • F. Ros
  • M. J. Periago
  • G. Ros
  • J. Rodrigo


Iron deficiency in infants is recognised as the most common nutritional deficiency of the world, in developing and industrialised countries (1, 2). The fortification of infant cereals has been used for many years to prevent iron deficiency in babies aged from six to twelve months, and many different iron sources have been tested, mainly based on their proportion of available iron and their technological characteristic during food processing (3). However, the bioavailability of iron varies considerably due to the enhancing and inhibitory effects of other food components. In addition, its bioavailability is determined by the kind of iron source and is strongly influenced by the physical characteristics of the iron compounds. Hydrogen-reduced iron has been used in the infant cereal industry since 1972, but its availability is considered poor and depends on particle size. For this reason, new compounds such as ferrous fumarate (4), NaFe3+EDTA (5, 6) and dry haemoglobin (7–9) with higher availability of iron are under consideration as new sources of iron in the infant cereal industry. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo availability of iron in an infant cereal flour (commercially called “Eight Cereals”) fortified with four different iron sources (hydrogen-reduced iron, ferrous fumarate, NaFe3+EDTA and dry haemoglobin).


Iron Content Haeme Iron Iron Source Apparent Absorption Iron Bioavailability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Ros
    • 1
  • M. J. Periago
    • 1
  • G. Ros
    • 1
  • J. Rodrigo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceMurcia UniversityMurciaSpain

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