A micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate with high relative bioavailability in man

Meredith C. Fidler, Thomas Walczyk, Lena Davidsson, Christophe Zeder, Noboru Sakaguchi, Lekh R. Juneja, Richard F. Hurrell

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101 Citations (Scopus)


Ferric pyrophosphate is a water-insoluble Fe compound used to fortify infant cereals and chocolate-drink powders as it causes no organoleptic changes to the food vehicle. However, it is only of low absorption in man. Recently, an innovative ferric pyrophosphate has been developed (Sunactive Fe™) based on small-particle-size ferric pyrophosphate (average size 0.3 μm) mixed with emulsifiers, so that it remains in suspension in liquid products. The aim of the present studies was to compare Fe absorption of micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate (Sunactive Fe™) with that of ferrous sulfate in an infant cereal and a yoghurt drink. Two separate Fe absorption studies were made in adult women (ten women/study). Fe absorption was based on the erythrocyte incorporation of stable isotopes (57Fe and 58Fe) 14 d after the intake of labelled test meals of infant cereal (study 1) or yoghurt drink (study 2). Each test meal was fortified with 5 mg Fe as ferrous sulfate or micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate. Results are presented as geometric means. There was no statistically significant difference between Fe absorption from micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate- and ferrous sulfate-fortified infant cereal (3.4 and 4.1 % respectively; P=0.24) and yoghurt drink (3.9 and 4.2% respectively; P=0.72). The results of the present studies show that micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate is as well absorbed as ferrous sulfate in adults. The high relative Fe bioavailability of micronised, dispersible ferric pyrophosphate indicates the potential usefulness of this compound for food fortification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Ferric pyrophosphate
  • Iron absorption
  • Iron fortification
  • Sunactive Fe™


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