PhD defence: Iron fortification of foods: Multi-mineral pyrophosphate-based salts

N. Moslehi


Most of us have heard of Popeye, who boosts his strength by eating a can of spinach. Regardless of the exaggerations in the story, spinach, like other green leafy vegetables, beans, and nuts is a great source of non-heme iron. While the heme iron (which is mainly present in meat) is well absorbed, the absorption of the non-heme iron is often reported to be below twenty percent.

Iron deficiency in the human body is one of the most prevalent nutritional problems, affecting an increasing number of people worldwide, partly by the impressive increase of vegetarianism and veganism. While a healthy person takes roughly a thousand breaths per hour, adequate amounts of iron in the human body are necessary for proper oxygen transport throughout the body. Therefore, it is urgent to contribute to solving the global issue of iron deficiency, which has reached epidemic proportions in developing countries.

However, iron is a challenging mineral to add to food due to its interactions with the phytochemicals present in foods. These interactions result in severe changes in the properties of the food, such as color and flavor.

This thesis focuses on designing multi-mineral iron-containing pyrophosphate-based salts, which present reduced reactivity with foods. The results of the presented work show that these salts can potentially be used as a non-heme supplementary iron source, suitable for fortification of foods as an efficient and cost-effective approach to overcome iron deficiency.

Start date and time
End date and time
Academiegebouw, Domplein 29
PhD candidate
N. Moslehi
Iron fortification of foods: Multi-mineral pyrophosphate-based salts
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. W.K. Kegel
prof. dr. K. Velikov
More information
Full text via Utrecht University Repository