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Potential iron bioavailability in usual diets of the Imbo region of Burundi

Nkunzimana, J., Zee, J.A., Turgeon-O'Brien, H., Marin, J.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1996 v.44 no.11 pp. 3591-3594
dietary minerals, iron, heme, nutrient intake, bioavailability, digestion, correlation, iron deficiency anemia, heme iron, in vitro digestion, iron absorption, Burundi
The purpose of this study was to assess the potential iron bioavailability of eight meals consumed in the Imbo region of Burundi. These meals were based on cassava flour and rice and contained legumes, fish, and vegetables. After an in vitro digestion, total and soluble iron concentrations were read from the atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Available iron was also estimated with the method of Monsen et al. Results showed that one-half of the studied meals contained only nonheme iron. Expressed as the ratio of soluble to total iron, potential iron bioavailability varied from 7.8% to 24%. Soluble iron and estimated absorbable iron were highly correlated (r2 = 0.93; p = 0.0001), ranging from 0.76 to 5.08 and from 0.80 to 4.2 mg/person/day, respectively. It was concluded that the lack of heme iron and ascorbic acid in diets should be the main determinant of the low potential iron bioavailability in the Imbo region of Burundi.