AAAR 30th Annual Conference
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Jesper T.N. Knijnenburg

Iron and zinc fortification using nano-CaO and -MgO supplements as carrier matrix


ETH Zurich

     Abstract Number: 103
     Last modified: March 31, 2011

     Working Group: Nanoparticles and Materials Synthesis

Iron deficiency affects approximately 2 billion people worldwide, especially young women and children. Food fortification with iron is a sustainable approach to alleviate iron deficiency but remains a challenge. Water-soluble compounds with high bioavailability usually cause unacceptable sensory changes in foods, while compounds that are less reactive in food matrices are often less bioavailable [1]. Solubility (and therefore bioavailability) can be improved by increasing the specific surface area (SSA) of the compound, i.e. decreasing its particle size to the nm range. Rohner et al. [2] prepared nanostructured FePO$_4 by flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) with SSA as high as 195 m$^(2)/g (~11 nm) that exhibited high solubility and bioavailability comparable to FeSO$_4 (the “gold standard” to alleviate iron deficiency) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Recently Hilty et al. developed zinc-containing nanostructured iron compounds with nutritionally attractive Zn-contents by FSP. The addition of Zn increased iron solubility and bioavailability comparable to FeSO$_4 [3]. Bioavailability was determined in-vivo by actual administration of these fortificants to rats, where no adverse effects in organs and tissues were found. Very recently we have shown that the incorporation of either calcium or magnesium into nanostructured iron oxide increases the iron solubility [4] and also bioavailability [3] compared to undoped iron oxide. For high dopant contents the solubility was comparable to FeSO$_4. Calcium and magnesium are nowadays widely used as nutritional supplements. Here, nanostructured calcium/magnesium oxide-based supplements are developed as carriers for iron/zinc fortification. The easily soluble calcium/magnesium matrix provides fast dissolution of the iron and/or zinc, even for materials with very low SSA.

[1] Hurrell R.F. (2002), Journal of Nutrition, 132, 806S-812S
[2] Rohner F. et al. (2007), Journal of Nutrition, 137, 614-619
[3] Hilty F.M. et al. (2010), Nature Nanotechnology, 5, 374-380
[4] Hilty F.M. et al. (2011), Journal of Food Science, 76, N2-N10

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