The unexpectedly low bioavailability in humans of elemental iron powder prompted us to search for other Fe compounds suitable for Fe fortification of flour that fulfill the two requirements of insolubility in water (due to high water content of flour) and good bioavailability in humans. Systematic studies of compatibility, solubility, and bioavailability led to this study of a microcrystalline complex ferric orthophosphate (CFOP), Fe3H8(NH4)-(PO4)6·6H·2O, a well-defined compound. This compound was labeled with 59Fe, and the native Fe in meals was labeled with 55FeCl3. The ratio of absorbed 59Fe to absorbed 55Fe is a direct measure of the fraction of CFOP that joins the nonheme Fe pool and that is made potentially available for absorption. The relative bioavailability of CFOP varied from 30% to 60% when labeled wheat rolls were served with different meals. The CFOP meets practical requirements of an Fe fortificant for flour well, with regard to both compatibility and bioavailability in humans.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 50, Issue 1, July 1989, Pages 129–135,
Source: L Hallberg, L Rossander-Hulthén, E Gramatkovski