Ascorbyl palmitate enhances iron bioavailability in iron-fortified bread
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Background: One of the strategies to control iron deficiency anemia is the fortification of food with iron. A mechanism for improving the bioavailability of iron is to add an iron absorption promoter. Objective: The objective was to determine the effect of ascorbyl palmitate (AP) on the bioavailability of iron in fortified bread made from refined wheat flour. Design: The iron bioavailability of wheat flour fortified with either ferrous sulfate alone or ferrous sulfate plus AP was studied with the use of double radio iron (Fe-55 and Fe-59) erythrocyte incorporation in 14 women. Results: Geometric mean (+/- range of 1 SD) iron absorption from the bread fortified with ferrous sulfate was 10.5% (4.1-27.0%). The addition of AP at molar ratios of AP to Fe of 2:1 and 4:1 significantly increased iron absorption [14.6% (5.9-36.1%) and 20.2% (10.6-38.6%), respectively; P < 0.001]. Conclusion: AP is a strong promoter of iron absorption from fortified bread because of its thermoresistant properties.