A review of phytate, iron, zinc, and calcium concentrations in plant-based complementary foods used in low-income countries and implications for bioavailability

Rosalind S, G. and Karl B, B. and Michelle, G. and Elaine L, F. (2010) A review of phytate, iron, zinc, and calcium concentrations in plant-based complementary foods used in low-income countries and implications for bioavailability. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 31 (S2). S134-S146.

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Abstract

Plant-based complementary foods often contain high levels of phytate, a potent inhibitor of iron, zinc, and calcium absorption. This review summarizes the concentrations of phytate (as hexa- and penta-inositol phosphate), iron, zinc, and calcium and the corresponding phytate:mineral molar ratios in 26 indigenous and 27 commercially processed plant-based complementary foods sold in low-income countries. Phytate concentrations were highest in complementary foods based on unrefined cereals and legumes (∼600 mg/100 g dry weight), followed by refined cereals (∼100 mg/100 g dry weight) and then starchy roots and tubers (< 20 mg/100 g dry weight); mineral concentrations followed the same trend. Sixty-two percent (16/26) of the indigenous and 37% (10/27) of the processed complementary foods had at least two phytate:mineral molar ratios (used to estimate relative mineral bioavailability) that exceeded suggested desirable levels for mineral absorption (i.e., phytate:iron < 1, phytate:zinc < 18, phytate:calcium < 0.17). Desirable molar ratios for phytate:iron, phytate:zinc, and phytate:calcium were achieved for 25%, 70%, and 57%, respectively, of the complementary foods presented, often through enrichment with animal-source foods and/or fortification with minerals. Dephytinization, either in the household or commercially, can potentially enhance mineral absorption in high-phytate complementary foods, although probably not enough to overcome the shortfalls in iron, zinc, and calcium content of plant-based complementary foods used in low-income countries. Instead, to ensure the World Health Organization estimated needs for these minerals from plant-based complementary foods for breastfed infants are met, dephytinization must be combined with enrichment with animal-source foods and/or fortification with appropriate levels and forms of mineral fortificants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioavailability, calcium, children, complementary foods, infants, iron, low-income countries, phytate, zinc
Author Affiliation: University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Subjects: Postharvest Management
Social Sciences > Postharvest Management
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2014 10:23
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2014 10:23
Official URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/nsinf/fnb/20...
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/13030

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