Minerals Needed During Infancy

March 12/Technology Business Journal -- A study at the University of Murcia (Spain) on food technology recently found, "An adequate mineral intake during infancy is needed for normal growth and development. This study investigated the effect of dephytinization of four infant cereals and the use of water and follow-on formula as the liquid of reconstitution on the intestinal cell uptake of iron and calcium from infant cereals using a model that combines a simulated gastrointestinal digestion adapted to the gastrointestinal conditions of infants younger than 6 months and the Caco-2 cell line."

"Iron and calcium uptake by Caco-2 cells from most infant cereals was significantly (p < 0.05) improved when a phytase was added. When infant cereals were reconstituted with water, dephytinization increased iron (3.2-19.5 vs. 3-10%) and calcium (0.66-2.3 vs. 0.35-0.59%) availability compared to the same infant cereals reconstituted with a follow-on formula," wrote C. Frontela and colleagues, University of Murcia.

The researchers concluded, "We can conclude that dephytinization of infant cereals and water addition improved iron and calcium availability, depending on the infant cereal used."

Frontela and colleagues published their study in European Food Research and Technology ("Iron and calcium availability from digestion of infant cereals by Caco-2 cells." European Food Research and Technology, 2009;228(5):789-797).

For more information, contact C. Frontela, University of Murcia, Dept. of Food Science & Nutrition, Faculty Vet. Science & Food Science & Technology, E-30071 Murcia, Spain.

From the March 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition