IFF has unveiled research in partnership with the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM), demonstrating that the AB-Fortis® iron ingredient is significantly better tolerated than a common iron salt. AB-Fortis® is an iron salt encapsulated in alginate—a natural seaweed-derived polysaccharide—making the ingredient appropriate for vegetarians and vegans. This unique encapsulation technology is particularly robust under high pressure and temperature during processing.
AB-Fortis® maintains its encapsulation in the stomach to avoid triggering gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, and then releases iron in the intestine for optimal absorption.
Globally, iron deficiency is a pervasive health concern1. The need for iron supplementation has increased due to the prevalence of conditions such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic kidney and heart diseases, and the growing adoption of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Iron supplementation compliance can be a challenge due to low bioavailability and its potential side effects, which may include metallic taste and gastrointestinal discomfort.
In a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and funded by IFF, results suggest that the consumption of an iron supplement in the formulation of a microencapsulated ferric preparation (MFS) is associated with a better tolerability profile when compared to ferrous sulphate (FS), a commonly used iron supplement. The single center, crossover, randomized, double-blind, and controlled clinical study investigating the effect of MFS on healthy pre-menopausal women demonstrates that AB-Fortis® is very well tolerated, even at a relatively high dose of 60 milligrams of elemental iron. It has significantly fewer GI side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea and epigastric distress than FS2.
“We’re pleased to partner with UCAM in this research to demonstrate that our premium iron ingredient, AB-Fortis® has excellent oral tolerability,” said Ryan Lauchli, global health category manager, IFF Health. “Iron can be hard to tolerate for many who take supplements, but our natural encapsulation is a great solution for our customers to incorporate into many different dietary supplements and food formats. We are proud to be able to deliver an efficacious ingredient to the industry so consumers can benefit.”
This microencapsulated iron is produced using a unique patented technology. It is protected by an organic layer that minimizes the release of free iron into the food and does not produce a metallic taste. The 40 percent high iron content in the microcapsule allows it to be used in small dosages, and does not change the appearance, palatability or taste of fortified foods.
1 World Health Organization. Anaemia
2Friling, M. et al. Tolerability of Oral Supplementation with Microencapsulated Ferric Saccharate Compared to Ferrous Sulphate in Healthy Premenopausal Woman: A Crossover, Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(20), 12282