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Speciation and bioavailability of iron in açaí (Euterpe oleracea)

Grant number: 12/07167-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Márcia Andreia Mesquita Silva da Veiga
Grantee:Milena Rubim
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Many nutrients are essential for the healthy development of physiological and metabolic process of the body. These nutrients refer to inorganic elements essential for all living beings such as iron, generally present in low concentrations. Iron deficiency causes physiological disorders, such as anemia, which can be cured by intake of the metal. Thus, it is important to the consumption of foods rich in this element as a way to get the daily requirement for nutrients. However, only part of a nutrient feed is bioavailable (or bioaccessible) for human digestion, making it important to evaluate the bioaccessibility of nutrients. This study intended to measure by atomic absorption spectrometry, the iron content of food within the group of fruit, with emphasis on açaí (Euterpe oleracea), and then evaluate, by means of in vitro tests, the bioaccessibility of this element, allowing to know the real nutritional value thereof. Because iron is present in two forms, heme iron and non-heme iron, is necessary study the speciation of iron in the gastrointestinal extract. In order to improve absorption of iron, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) will be added in the experiments.

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