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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of White Bean Instead of Red Bean May Improve Iron Bioavailability from a Tanzanian Complementary Food Mixture

Authors
item Lung'aho, Mercy - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Glahn, Raymond

Submitted to: International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2009
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Citation: Lung'Aho, M.G., Glahn, R.P. 2010. Use of White Bean Instead of Red Bean May Improve Iron Bioavailability from a Tanzanian Complementary Food Mixture. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 80(1):24-31.

Interpretive Summary: A model for digestion has been developed in our lab that uses a simulated digestion and Caco-2 epithelial tissue cell culture monolayer to imitate the intestinal lining and absorption of minerals into our bodies. This model can be used for studying mineral absorption from different foods and food combinations. Foods with high antinutrient concentrations have the ability to bind essential minerals, such as iron and zinc, thus resulting in lower absorption of these elements. In the study presented, the model was used to determine whether substituting complementary food ingredients with high antinutrient concentration with those that have lower antinutrient concentration may improve iron bioavailability from complementary food home-recipes. The complementary food recipe analyzed had red bean in its formulation, which was replaced by a white bean. The white bean had a significantly higher amount of bioavailable iron when compared to all the other porridge ingredients including the red bean and it may be possible that the complementary food formulated with the white bean may be superior to the food formulated with the red bean with reference to iron bioavailability.

Technical Abstract: In the study presented, an in-vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell culture model was used to assess amount of bioavailable iron from a modified Tanzanian complementary food formulation. The main objective of the study was to determine whether a change from red bean to white bean in the complementary food recipe, would improve iron bioavailability from the mixture as recent studies had indicated that iron bioavailability in white beans is significantly higher compared to that in the colored beans. The white bean had a significantly higher amount of ferritin formation (13.54 ng/mg) when compared to all the other porridge ingredients including the red bean (2.3 ng/mg) and it is plausible that the complementary food formulated with the white bean may be superior to that formulated with the red bean with reference to iron bioavailability. The results are significant as they suggest that substitution of complementary food ingredients with high antinutrient concentration with those that have lower antinutrient concentration may improve iron bioavailability from complementary food home-recipes.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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