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Open Access In vitro bioavailability of iron and sensory qualities of iron-fortified wheat biscuits

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Background. Because biscuits are a popular snack item and are consumed frequently by the younger population, fortification of biscuits with iron can be beneficial in preventing iron-deficiency anemia, which is widely prevalent in developing countries.

Objective. To determine the bioavailability of iron from biscuits fortified with either ferrous sulfate or sodium iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (NaFeEDTA) equivalent to 8.8 mg of iron per 100 g of flour in combination with either citric and tartaric acids at 60, 80, or 100 mg/100 g levels.

Methods. The study involved analysis of physical characteristics, total and ionizable iron of biscuits, and sensory qualities. The ionizable iron value was used to calculate bioavailable iron. The biscuits were evaluated for sensory attributes by 30 panelists with the help of a scorecard specially developed for biscuits.

Results. The amount of bioavailable iron in biscuits increased over that in controls by about 27% after the addition of ferrous sulfate and 83.8% after the addition of NaFeEDTA. The addition of citric acid (80 mg/100 g) along with ferrous sulfate increased bioavailability by about 104% over that in controls. The maximum increase was seen on addition of tartaric acid (100 mg/100 g). The amount of bioavailable iron increased by 117% after the addition of NaFeEDTA with 80 mg/100 g of citric acid and by 338% after the addition of NaFeEDTA with 100 mg/100 g of tartaric acid. Sensory evaluation tests indicated that NaFeEDTA-fortified biscuits were more acceptable than ferrous sulfate–fortified biscuits and that biscuits fortified with NaFeEDTA along with tartaric acid were similar to control biscuits in all sensory attributes.

Conclusions. From both the subjective and the objective evaluation of biscuits, it can be concluded that the addition of NaFeEDTA along with either citric acid (80 mg/100 g) or tartaric acid (100 mg/100 g) results in improved iron bioavailability with an organoleptically acceptable product.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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