Bioavailability in infants of iron from infant cereals: Effect of dephytinization

Lena Davidsson, Pilar Galan, Françoise Cherouvrier, Peter Kastenmayer, Marcel A. Juillerat, Serge Hercberg, Richard F. Hurrell

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Iron bioavailability from an infant cereal made of wheat flour with a low extraction rate (70%) and cow milk was measured in infants by using a stable-isotope technique. A dephytinized infant cereal was prepared by adding commercial phytase during manufacture, resulting in degradation of 88% of the native phytic acid. Paired comparisons were made to evaluate the effect of phytic acid on iron bioavailability. Both infant cereals contained identical amounts of ascorbic acid and had a molar ratio of ascorbic acid to iron of 2:1. Iron was added as ferrous sulfate. No difference in iron bioavailability was observed in this study; the geometric mean was 8.7% (range: 3.8-16.9%) and 8.5% (range: 3.4-21.4%) from the cereal with native phytic acid (0.08% phytic acid) and the dephytinized cereal (0.01% phytic acid), respectively. Dephytinization of infant cereals containing a relatively low native phytic acid content and high amounts of ascorbic acid is thus unnecessary to ensure adequate bioavailability of iron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-920
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • ascorbic acid
  • bioavailability
  • infant cereal
  • infants
  • Iron
  • phytase
  • phytic acid


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