This study aimed to determine the availability of iron, zinc and calcium from the MGM’s and the amount of inhibitors (phytic and tannic acid) and enhancer (vitamin C) of mineral absorption.
Four MGM variants were analyzed – banana-squash (BS), yellow sweet potato-spinach (YS), carrot anchovies (CA), and rice-based sprinkle. Mineral contents were determined following modified AOAC methods and mineral availabilities were evaluated using in vitro method. Determination of phytic and tannic acid, and vitamin C contents were also performed using colorimetric and titrimetric methods, respectively.
Results showed that MGM products have appreciable amounts of iron, calcium and zinc with varying extent of availability for absorption. Among the three naturally-fortified variants, BS had the highest mineral content but its high amount of calcium and phytic acid may have suppressed the release of iron and zinc by forming insoluble complex. Iron was most available from CA (29.3 ± 0.5 %) as may have been enhanced by vitamin C. Calcium was most available from BS (59.0 ± 2.2 %) while zinc from YS (5.86 ± 0.08 %). Compared to the naturally-fortified MGMs, the synthetically-fortified sprinkle had considerably higher mineral availabilities (63.9% in iron, 99.9% Ca, 35.6% Zn) and lower amounts of inhibitors.
Iron, zinc and calcium in MGM sprinkle were found to have excellent availability for absorption. The naturallyfortified products also showed good mineral availability but the choice of food to which they will be added should be considered well since local crops which they were made from inherently contain inhibitors and minerals, which may interact and impede mineral absorption. Further investigation using in vivo methods should be done to validate the results.