Is Contaminant Iron (Fe) Nutritionally Important? Tef and Wheat as Model Cereal Grains

01 January 2020 → 09 January 2022
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Food sciences and (bio)technology not elsewhere classified
Contaminant Iron iron in vitro bioaccessibility isotopic composition of iron
Project description

Iron is an important micronutrient to be in good health, and many people suffer from iron deficiencies, especially those that are mainly dependent on a plant (cereal)-based diet. Several strategies are done in the past to increase the iron content in the foods, although the efficiency of its absorption (determined as bioaccessibility) is still very limited. This is for sure the case for plant based products, and cereals, as they contain some inhibitory compounds, limiting the iron bioaccessibility. However during harvesting and processing of cereals, the cereal can be contaminated by iron from different external sources such as soil, tap water, milling and processing equipments. This proposal will specifically look to the contribution of this contaminant iron in the total iron intake of cereal based products, and to determine how important this contaminant iron is. It will also study if the bioaccessibility of contaminant iron is higher compared to the iron present in the cereals itself. This proposal will study the whole process chain (from farm to fork) i.e. tef and wheat grown on different soils, harvested in different ways, and processed towards different food products, to study its effect on iron contamination and its influence on its bioaccessibility.