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Combating iron deficiency: product evaluation using iron-fortified wheat flour


J. Gooneratne ,

Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Colombo 7, LK
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R. Mudalige,

Ministry of Youth, Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla, LK
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Sports and Rural Development
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R. Nestel,

Johns Hopkins University, US
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G. Purvis G.

Michigan State University, US
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In order to deterrnine the effects on the physical and sensory characteristics of wheat flour preparations after fortification with specific iron compounds, a study was carried out to ascertain which iron compound would be most appropriate in Sri Lanka. The iron compounds tested were ferrous sulphate and fumarate, elemental iron, hydrogen reduced iron and Na Fe EDTA. Iron was added to wheat flour to provide 44,66 and 88 mg Fe/kg flour and mixed in a tumble laboratory blender. The flour was stored at ambient conditions (30 to 40°C, relative humidity above 80%) at the Ceylon Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (CISIR), Colombo. At monthly intervals, four foods, viz., roti, string hoppers, bread and rusks, prepared from the flour were evaluated for their sensory characteristics, using 12 trained and experienced panelists. Bread and rusks were prepared at the National Bakery, Colombo, and roti and string hoppers were prepared at the CISIR.


The results show that the quality of all flours, including the unfortified, control flour, deteriorated during storage. By the third month none of the products made from any of the flours were edible. Flour storage at the ambient storage conditions in Sri Lanka requires that the flour be consumed within 3 months of milling. Flours fortified with Na Fe EDTA and ferrous fumarate became less acceptable sooner than the other flours. Flours fortified with reduced iron and with electrolytic iron showed fewer sensory changes. Most of the changes were related to flour storage time than to the level of the fortificant. Fortification at iron concentrations of 44 mg/kg and 66 mg/kg was viable.
How to Cite: Gooneratne, J., Mudalige, R., Nestel, R. and Purvis G., G., 1996. Combating iron deficiency: product evaluation using iron-fortified wheat flour. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science, 39(1), pp.23–34. DOI:
Published on 27 Jun 1996.
Peer Reviewed


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