Effect of domestic processing and cooking methods on total, hcl extractable iron and in vitro availability of iron in spinach and amaranth leaves.Nutr Health. 2002; 16(2):113-20.NH
Spinach (Spinacia oleracia) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves were stored in polyethylene bags and without packing for 24 and 48 hours in a refrigerator at 5 degrees C and 30 degrees C in polyethylene bags. The fresh leaves were also dried (oven and sun), blanched (5, 10 and 15 min) and cooked in an open pan and a pressure cooker. The processed leaves were analysed for total iron, its availability and antinutrient content. The iron content of these leaves varied from 26.54 to 34.14 mg/100 g, dry weight and its HCl-extractability and in vitro availability were 62.11-67.18% and 3.03-3.97% of total respectively. Drying and storage had no significant effect on total iron content, HCl-extractability and availability (in vitro), while blanching and cooking resulted in significant improvement of iron availability, and a significant reduction in oxalic acid content, while only blanching significantly reduced phytic acid and polyphenol contents. Thus cooking and blanching are good ways to improve HCl-extractability and in vitro availability of iron.