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Metallic iron in cornflakes

Lermyte, Ferderik, Zhang, Wen-ying, Brooks, Jake, Huband, Steven, Collingwood, Joanna F., Lees, Martin R., Rayman, Margaret and Sadler, Peter J. (2020) Metallic iron in cornflakes Food and Function.

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Iron is an essential element, and typically cornflake-style cereals are fortified with iron to a level up to 14 mg iron per 100 g. Even single cornflakes exhibit magnetic behaviour. We extracted iron microparticles from samples of two own-brand supermarket cornflakes using a strong permanent magnet. Synchrotron iron K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopic data were consistent with identification as metallic iron, and x-ray diffraction studies provided unequivocal identification of the extracted iron as body-centred cubic (BCC) -iron. Magnetometry measurements were also consistent with ca. 14 mg/100 g BCC iron. These findings emphasise that attention must be paid to the speciation of trace elements, in relation to their bioavailability. To mimic conditions in the stomach, we suspended the iron extract in dilute HCl (pH 1.0-2.0) at 37oC (body temperature) and found by ICP-MS that over a period of 5 hours, up to 13% of the iron dissolved. This implies that despite its metallic form in the cornflakes, the iron is potentially bioavailable for oxidation and absorption into the body.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Lermyte, Ferderik
Zhang, Wen-ying
Brooks, Jake
Huband, Steven
Collingwood, Joanna F.
Lees, Martin R.
Sadler, Peter J.
Date : 13 February 2020
Funders : EPSRC, University of Warwick Chancellor's Scholarship
Grant Title : EPSRC Grant
Uncontrolled Keywords : Cornflakes, iron, trace metals, x-ray diffraction, XANES, ICP-MS
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 13 Mar 2020 14:10
Last Modified : 14 Feb 2021 02:08

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