Is Contaminant Iron (Fe) Nutritionally Important?



Although iron is the second most abundant metallic element on the earth’s crust, it is known as the modern-day most deficient nutrient in human nutrition.

It accounts for half of the two billion anemia cases worldwide. To mitigate this, intervention strategies such as external and biological iron fortification, iron supplementation and dietary diversification have been used, aiming at maximizing consumers’ iron intake.

On the other hand, literature shows that certain food products can contain contaminant iron that comes from the soil, water, metallic milling, and cooking equipment in the farm to fork food processing chain without however clarity on its nutritional importance.

This research, using wheat and tef grains, aims to determine the accumulation of contaminant iron in the farm-fork process, investigate its bioaccessibility, and examine the rationale of iron fortification on the presence of contaminant iron.