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An Overview of Methods for Assessment of Iron Bioavailability from Foods Nutritionally Enhanced Through Biotechnology

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Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia continue to be significant public health problems worldwide. While supplementation and fortification have been viable means to improve iron nutriture of the population in developed countries, they may be less successful in developing regions for a number of reasons, including complexities in distribution and consumer compliance. Biofortification of staple crops, through conventional plant breeding strategies or modern methods of biotechnology, provides an alternative approach that may be more sustainable once initial investments have been made. Three types of biofortification strategies are being essayed, singly or in combination: increasing the total iron content of edible portions of the plant, decreasing the levels of inhibitors of iron absorption, and increasing the levels of factors that enhance iron absorption. Bioavailability is a key concept in iron nutrition, particularly for nonheme iron such as is found in these biofortified foods. An overview is presented of methods for evaluation of iron bioavailability from foods nutritionally enhanced through biotechnology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Health Canada, Nutrition Research Division, Food Directorate, 2203C Banting Research Centre, 251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0K9.

Publication date: September 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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