Evaluation of Sensory and Storage Characteristics and Iron Bioavailability of Whole Wheat Flour Fortified with Ferrous Sulphate and Hydrogen Reduced Iron Powder in Humans


  • Indian Council of Medical Research, Micronutrient Research Group, National Institute of Nutrition, Telangana, 500 007, India


Whole wheat flour is the preferred form of wheat consumed in India. Flour fortification with iron is a well-accepted global strategy for tackling iron deficiency anemia. However, identifying chemical sources of iron and characteristics of fortified flour and iron bioavailability is context specific and needs to be established. The objective of the study was to evaluate overall quality characteristics (sensory, storage and in vitro dialyzability) and iron bioavailability of whole wheat flour (atta) fortified with anhydrous ferrous sulphate (FeSO4/hydrogen reduced iron powder (HRIP) and folic acid in humans. Characteristics of iron fortified flour co-fortified with ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (Na2EDTA; 1:1 molar ratio to iron) was assessed. Sensory evaluation was carried out by an institutional panel using 5 point Hedonic scale and 3 months storage stability by measuring peroxide value. Iron dialyzability was tested using in vitro method. Iron bioavailability in adult male (N=8) was evaluated using double sequential radio iron labels of 55FeSO4, and 59FeHRIP. Results suggest that both the sources of iron showed comparable sensory and storage attributes of the flour as well as Indian recipes prepared with these flours. Habitual meal with FeSO4 fortified chapathi exhibited significantly higher (p<0.05) per cent iron dialyzability (14.7%) compared to HRIP fortified chapathi (11.4%). Co-fortification with Na2EDTA, significantly increased per cent dialyzability from both the fortificants (p<0.05). Iron bioavailability in human volunteers showed that HRIP (0.58±0.19%) was three times lower than FeSO4, fortified wheat flour (1.63±0.844%). These results suggest that though wheat flour fortified with HRIP showed comparable characteristics with FeSO4, it is poorly bioavailable. Co-fortification of fortified atta with sodium EDTA appears to enhance iron bioavailability.


Iron, Bioavailability, Dialyzability, Fortification, Human, Atta.

Subject Discipline

Food Science and Technology

Full Text:


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