Sugar as a vehicle for iron fortification.Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Jan; 29(1):8-18.AJ
Sugar as a vehicle for iron fortification presents several advantages over the other vehicles used in the last three decades. In vitro studies demonstrated that ferrous sulfate added to sugar in proportion of 1 mg to 1 g, respectively, is maintained in the ferrous form for a period of at least 1 year and does not induce adverse changes in the vehicle. Sugar, by itself, carries practically no inhibitors for the absorption of iron. Iron absorption from fortified sugar mixed with vegetals is the same as that of native vegetal iron. The absorption from fortified sugar is increased more than 50% over that observed from native vegetal when it is administered as a drink during the ingestion of a meal. A further increase in absorption was found when fortified sugar was administered with beverages. The mean absorption ratio of fortified sugar given with orange juice, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi-Cola to a reference dose of iron ascorbate was between 0.45 and 0.66, which is more than 3 times the absorption of this iron fortification mixed with vegetals. The mean absorption ratio from coffee was 0.30, and from coffee with milk, 0.15. These data indicate that the fortification of sugar with iron could be a better procedure for the prevention of iron deficiency than the iron fortification of bread and wheat products, from which iron is poorly absorbed. It could be used in developing countries where beverages are highly consumed by the low socioeconomic class. This program could be extended to all sugar consumption or be restricted to soft drinks.