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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368858

Research Project: Advancing the Nutritional Quality of Staple Food Crops for Improved Intestinal Function and Health

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Iron bioavailability of fortified maize and sorghum porridges

item ALANDY, VICTORIA - Cornell University
item FLEIGE, LISA - Pepsico
item Glahn, Raymond

Submitted to: Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2019
Publication Date: 9/5/2019
Citation: Alandy, V., Fleige, L., Glahn, R.P. 2019. Iron bioavailability of fortified maize and sorghum porridges. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Science. 7(3):1-6.

Interpretive Summary: Our lab has developed and used an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell model to measure iron bioavailability. The model has the capability of high throughput and is a rapid, inexpensive, and well validated method. This method has been used to estimate Fe bioavailability for food crops including corn and sorghum. Using our system, whole grain corn and sorghum porridges were tested using various amounts of iron and ascorbic acid to determine iron bioavailability in the food products. The iron and ascorbic acid fortification improved the uptake of iron and may help alleviate iron deficiency.

Technical Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa, iron deficiency anemia poses a significant public health problem, negatively affecting the health and development of millions of young women and children. One strategy to help reduce this problem is via fortification of commonly consumed food products made from grains such as maize or sorghum. Using the established Caco-2 cell bioassay for Fe bioavailability, the present study tested whether varying levels of iron and ascorbic acid added to flavored whole grain maize and sorghum porridges deliver bioavailable iron. The results demonstrated that the fortified iron in maize and sorghum porridge improved these foods as sources of dietary Fe, with the effect much stronger in maize than sorghum porridge. Consistent consumption of these foods could therefore improve the Fe status and alleviate the risk of iron deficiency anemia of those who consume them.