Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news



New Taiyo iron formula improves ingredient's performance in food, beverages

By Hank Schultz , 04-Apr-2014

Women and children are the target populations for iron fortification.

Women and children are the target populations for iron fortification.

Iron can be a difficult ingredient to work with because of its reactivity. Ever seen a piece of rusty metal?  That’s just the start; iron reacts with a wide array of elements beyond oxygen. It can impart off flavors, degrade other ingredients and interfere with their absorpotion, too.

But the need for iron fortification, for younger women, pregnant and nursing mothers and children is pressing, especially in areas of the world where diets are suboptimal, so suppliers have sought ways to provide this essential mineral in a stable and bioavailable form.

One of these is SunActive, a branded iron fortifcation from Taiyo International, a Japanese ingredient supplier. The company recently introduced a powdered form of the ingredient more suitable for foods and beverages. 

“The biggest issue with iron is that it is ionized in the stomach and causes irritation,” Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo. “We control the particle size of the iron and we stabilize that size via emulsifiers.”

“The new product doesn’t use soy anymore and is approved for infant formulas,” Smith said.

Tailored absorption

The stability issues with iron have long been recognized and chelation is another effective way of dealing with this.  But Smith said Taiyo’s technology has the additional benefit of providing a way to tailor where the ingredient is absorbed.  The way Taiyo coats the particles enables them to bypass the stomach to be absorbed in the small intestine, Smith said.  Release of iron in the stomach can interfere with the absorption of other minerals and has side effects including cramping and constipation, Smith said. 

Taiyo’s ability to deliver teh ingredient at very small particle sizes forms the basis for claims of greater bioavailability.  The small particle size also means the ingredient can be effectively dispersed in beverages without precipitating, Smith said.

Taiyo uses ferric pyrotophosphate as its base iron formulation, which is a white powder with a mild taste.  But without the proprietary coating, it wouldn’t perform well when compared with the baseline absorption values of ferric sulfate, Smith said.

“If we were just delivering ferric pyrophosphate on its own, it would be very poorly absorbed,” Smith said.

Broadening market

Smith said the demand for Taiyo’s ingredient and other stable forms of iron has opened up in recent years with the segmentation of the food market.  Iron supplementation used to be restricted to just a few products, such as vitamin formulas (remember Geritol and ‘iron poor blood?’).  But that picture has changed with explosion of various forms of functional food.

“There weren’t a lot of foods that were targeted specifically to certain sexes,” Smith said. “Most men don’t need additional iron in their diet.”

And Smith said there is rising demand for stable iron forms to go into products meant for populations in the developing world.  According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency in the world, with as many as 2 billion people being classified as anaemic.  And the organization said it is the only micronutrient deficiency that is prevalent in industrialized countries.

Smith said WHO has recommended SunActive as an “ideal fortificant” in juices and drinks, bouillon cubes and dairy products.  And the ingredient holds approved health claims from the European Food Safety Authority.

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars