The adequacy of micronutrient concentrations in manufactured complementary foods from low-income countries uri icon

abstract

  • Iron, zinc, and calcium in complementary foods (CFs) are defined as problem micronutrients by the World Health Organization (WHO), as their concentrations in CFs fall below the calculated requirements for breast-fed infants of micronutrients obtained from CFs. Consequently, manufacturers often fortify plant-based CFs with these three micronutrients. We have analyzed concentrations of iron, zinc, calcium, and phytic acid (as hexa- and penta-inositol phosphates) in 57 cereal-based CFs purchased in five countries each in Africa and Asia. Molar ratios of phytate:iron, phytate: zinc, and phytate:calcium were also calculated. Intakes of iron, zinc, and calcium from these CFs were then calculated assuming breast-fed infants aged 9-11 months consume the recommended daily ration size of CF (40 g/d; dry weight), and compared with WHO estimated needs from CFs. Even though manufacturers claimed to fortify 84% (48/57) of the CFs, 79%, 10% and 32% had molar ratios for phytate:iron, phytate:zinc, and phytate:calcium, respectively, above desirable levels. Despite fortification, only similar to 4% of the CFs met the WHO estimated needs for breast-fed infants aged 9-11 months for iron, 2% for zinc, and similar to 4% for calcium. Appropriate fortification of cereal-based CFs is necessary to ensure they meet WHO estimated needs for iron, zinc, and calcium for breast-fed infants. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011
  • 2011