NaFeEDTA is an iron complex. In the past 20 years, NaFeEDTA, as a most efficient iron fortificant, has attracted a lot of attention for being considered in the prevention of iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Sufficient evidence is available to recommend the use of NaFeEDTA. And this recommendation is supported by the approval by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) as safe in food fortification programs for populations in which iron deficiency is endemic. It is estimated that there are about 200 million of IDA population in China. So it is important for government and nutritionists to take measures to prevent and eliminate IDA in China. Food fortification- is commonly regarded as a major suitable approach for IDA control in China, though there are other selected ways for the same purpose.
In this study, we investigated the production and consumption of soy sauce in China, NaFeEDTA fortified soy sauce, and absorption of iron in the fortified soy sauce. The results are briefly listed as follow:
1. The investigation on soy sauce production and consumption showed that soy sauce is a suitable food vehicle for iron fortification. Soy sauce is centrally produced and widely consumed around China. In addition, soy sauce is able to promote iron absorption.
2. NaFeEDTA fortification did not change organoleptic quality and physiochemical property in soy sauce. So it is superior to other iron fortificants, which makes fortified soy sauce unacceptable in light of significantly damaging quality of soy sauce. The manufacture of NaFeEDTA fortified soy sauce adopts nearly same technology as that of traditional soy sauce and only needs some auxiliary equipment. Therefore, additional cost is minimum. The stability of iron fortified soy sauce is no less than that of common soy sauce.
3. Absorption of iron from NaFeEDTA fortified soy sauce and from FeSO4 fortified soy sauce in humans were 10.51% and 4.73% respectively. This suggested that iron absorption of NaFeEDTA is 2 times more than that of FeSO4.
In brief, NaFeEDTA fortified soy sauce, as an ideal form of iron supplement, is correspondent to Chinese dietary consumption and can be used to improve nutritional status of iron in China.