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A Comparison of Physical Properties, Screening Procedures and a Human Efficacy Trial for Predicting the Bioavailability of Commercial Elemental Iron Powders Used for Food Fortification (International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, Volume 77 No. 2, 2007) (.PDF 299KB)

SUSTAINís Task Force Report on a broad research initiative to evaluate the potential efficacy of commercial iron powders used as food fortificants and to assess bioavailability screening methods. Identifies important differences among existing commercial iron powders likely to impact bioavailability, and introduces a new prototype laboratory tool for rapid and accurate product screening.

Reprinted with permission from the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research.


Electrolytic Iron or Ferrous Sulfate Increase Body Iron in Women with Moderate to Low Iron Stores(Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 137, 2007) (external website)

The nutritional efficacy of two elemental iron powders and supplemental heme iron was determined by measuring the change in iron status in women during a 12 week iron treatment. With modification, the methodology has the potential for economically assessing iron compounds for efficacy.


The relative bioavailability in humans of elemental iron powders for use in food fortification (European Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 45 No. 1, 2006) (external website)

The bioavailability of several elemental iron powders from SUSTAINís sample pool of commercial iron food fortificants and two developmental powders was estimated relative to ferrous sulfate in three groups of male blood donors. All of the powders were significantly less well absorbed than ferrous sulfate except one (electrolytic) iron powder given with ascorbic acid.


Comparison of the efficacy of wheat-based snacks fortified with ferrous sulfate, electrolytic iron, or hydrogen-reduced elemental iron: randomized, double-blind, controlled trial in Thai women (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 82, 2005), (external website)

The efficacy of wheat-based snacks fortified with ferrous sulfate, electrolytic iron, or hydrogen-reduced iron was compared in Thai women with low iron stores over 35 weeks. The relative efficacy of the electrolytic and hydrogen-reduced iron compared with ferrous sulfate was found to be 77% and 49%, respectively.


Bioavailability of Elemental Iron Powders to Rats Is Less than Bakery-Grade Ferrous Sulfate and Predicted by Iron Solubility and Particle Surface Area (Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 133, 2003), (external website)

The authors examine how the physicochemistry of six commercial iron food forificants influences bioavailability to iron deficient rats.


Fortifying Food (The International Journal of Powder Metallurgy, Volume 38 No. 5, 2002) (.PDF 68KB)

Report to industry on SUSTAINís research program to evaluate the efficacy of elemental iron powder food fortificants, with background information on vitamin and mineral enrichments of flour and cereal foods.

Reprinted with permission from the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy (2002, Volume 38, No. 5, p. 20). A publication of APMI International, 105 College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08549-6692, USA.


The Usefulness of Elemental Iron for Cereal Flour Fortification: A SUSTAIN Task Force Report (Nutrition Reviews, December 2002) (external website)

Review of literature and of September 2000 Monterrey Workshop on the bioavailability of elemental iron powders. Discusses problems and limitations of research conducted over the past 45 years, and summarizes interim recommendations on the use of elemental iron fortificants based on best available knowledge.


Monterrey Workshop Summary: Evaluating the Usefulness of Elemental Iron Powders (Nutrition Reviews, July 2002) (external website)

Summary of the international Monterrey Workshop on issues of elemental iron efficacy.


Summary of Monterrey Workshop: Evaluating the Usefulness of Elemental Iron Powders (September 2000) (.PDF 19KB)

Key findings from an international workshop convened in Monterrey to help resolve questions about the efficacy of elemental iron powders, with interim recommendations for the use of iron fortificants.