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Research Article

Wheat Flour Fortified with Elemental Iron or FeSO4 Provides Bioavailable Iron to Pakistani Children

Ayesha Yameen, Rakhshanda Bilal, Tanvir Ahmad, Khawaja A. Abbas and Zahid Latif
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Iron fortification of wheat flour is an accepted long term strategy to combat iron deficiency anemia worldwide. It is necessary to determine the relative bioavailability of various iron fortificants in local available flour prior to making any recommendation for wheat flour fortification. Relative bioavailability of various iron fortificants in 85% extraction wheat flour was evaluated. 54 school children, ages 5 to 10 years, were randomized in three groups, in order to receive a breakfast containing a wheat-based product, labeled with either 1) elemental 58Fe, 2) 58FeSO4, or 3) 58FeSO4 + Na2EDTA (1:1 molar ratio). Forty subjects successfully completed the trial. Using stable isotope methodology, the absorption of 58Fe was determined. Overall, the two groups receiving 58FeSO4 had significantly higher absorption (7.0%±3.8) than the group receiving elemental 58Fe (4.1%±1.7). There was no significant difference found in the percent absorption of 58Fe between the groups receiving 58FeSO4 (7.4%±3.4) and those receiving 58FeSO4 + Na2EDTA (6.4%±4.4). Estimated absorbed iron from 300 g of wheat fortified at the tested concentrations would be approximately 730 μg, 670 μg and 380 μg from elemental Fe, FeSO4 and FeSO4 + Na2EDTA respectively. Overall, iron absorption was in the range expected although the lack of efficacy of Na2EDTA was unexpected.

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  How to cite this article:

Ayesha Yameen, Rakhshanda Bilal, Tanvir Ahmad, Khawaja A. Abbas and Zahid Latif, 2013. Wheat Flour Fortified with Elemental Iron or FeSO4 Provides Bioavailable Iron to Pakistani Children. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 12: 268-274.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2013.268.274


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