Food fortification with iron and zinc: pros and cons from a dietary and nutritional viewpoint

The nutritional deficiency of essential minerals, such as iron and zinc, affects the population worldwide with different effects on human health. Food fortification has been proven to be one of the most effective strategies to overcome this situation, although limitations residing not only in the choice of food to provide these nutrients but also in the correct selection of the fortification compounds are very important. In general, iron and zinc compounds, that have high bioavailability, lead to alterations in the sensorial properties of the fortified food, making it less acceptable for consumption. On the other hand, non-reactive compounds with excellent technological properties have very low bioavailability, which renders them of no value from a nutritional point of view. In the present article, fortification aspects are discussed in order to achieve a better understanding of this problem.

iron; zinc; fortification; food

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