Iron absorption from fish sauce and soy sauce fortified with sodium iron EDTA

Meredith C. Fidler, Lena Davidsson, Thomas Walczyk, Richard F. Hurrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fish sauce and soy sauce have been suggested as food vehicles for iron fortification in Asia. NaFeEDTA is a potentially useful fortificant because it can be added to these condiments without causing precipitation during storage. Objectives: The objectives were to evaluate iron absorption from NaFeEDTA-fortified fish sauce and soy sauce against a reference fortificant (FeSO4), to compare iron absorption from NaFeEDTA-fortified fish sauce and soy sauce, and to evaluate the influence of fish sauce and soy sauce per se on iron absorption. Design: Five separate iron-absorption studies were made in adult women (10 women per study). Iron absorption was measured on the basis of erythrocyte incorporation of 57Fe or 58Fe 14 d after the intake of labeled meals of rice or rice and vegetables. Fish sauce or soy sauce (10 g) fortified with 5 mg Fe as NaFeEDTA or FeSO4 was fed with selected meals. The results are presented as geometric means. Results: Iron absorption from NaFeEDTA- and FeSO4-fortified fish sauce (3.3% and 3.1%, respectively) and soy sauce (6.1% and 5.6%, respectively) was not significantly different. No significant difference was observed when NaFeEDTA-fortified fish sauce and soy sauce were compared directly (6.7% and 7.9%, respectively). Soy sauce inhibited iron absorption from rice-based meals (8.5% without and 6.0% with soy sauce; P < 0.02), whereas fish sauce did not affect iron absorption significantly. Conclusion: The relatively high iron absorption from NaFeEDTA-fortified fish sauce and soy sauce and the acceptable organoleptic properties of NaFeEDTA indicate the potential usefulness of this iron fortificant in fish sauce and soy sauce fortification programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2003



  • Absorption
  • Fish sauce
  • Iron
  • Iron fortification
  • NaFeEDTA
  • Soy sauce
  • Stable isotopes

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