Iron absorption in raw and cooked bananas: a field study using stable isotopes in women
Background: Banana is a staple food in many regions with high iron deficiency and may be a potential vehicle for iron fortification. However, iron absorption from bananas is not known.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate total iron absorption from raw and cooked bananas.
Design: Thirty women (34.9±6.6 years) from rural Mexico were randomly assigned to one of two groups each consuming: 1) 480 g/day of raw banana for 6 days, or 2) 500 g/day of cooked banana for 4 days. Iron absorption was measured after extrinsically labeling with 2 mg of 58Fe and a reference dose of 6 mg 57Fe; analysis was done using ICP-MS.
Results: Iron content in cooked bananas was significantly higher than raw bananas (0.53 mg/100 g bananas vs. 0.33 mg/100 mg bananas, respectively) (p<0.001). Percent iron absorption was significantly higher in raw bananas (49.3±21.3%) compared with cooked banana (33.9±16.2%) (p=0.035). Total amount of iron absorbed from raw and cooked bananas was similar (0.77±0.33 mg vs. 0.86±0.41 mg, respectively).
Conclusion: Total amount of absorbed iron is similar between cooked and raw bananas. The banana matrix does not affect iron absorption and is therefore a potential effective target for genetic modification for iron biofortification.
Keywords: iron absorption; bananas; iron deficiency
(Published: 5 February 2015)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 25976 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.25976
Responsible Editor: Seppo Salminen, University of Turku, Finland.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to SNF Swedish Nutrition Foundation. Read the full Copyright- and Licensing Statement.