Iron bioavailability in two commercial cultivars of wheat: a comparison between wholegrain and white flour and the effects of nicotianamine and 2'-deoxymugineic acid on iron uptake into Caco-2 cells

Tristan Eagling, Anna Wawer, Peter Shewry, Fangjie Zhao, Susan Fairweather-Tait

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Iron bioavailability in unleavened white and wholegrain bread made from two commercial wheat varieties was assessed by measuring ferritin production in Caco-2 cells. The breads were subjected to simulated gastrointestinal digestion and the digests applied to the Caco-2 cells. Although Riband grain contained a lower iron concentration than Rialto, iron bioavailability was higher. No iron was taken up by the cells from white bread made from Rialto flour or from wholegrain bread from either variety, but Riband white bread produced a small ferritin response. The results probably relate to differences in phytate content of the breads, although iron in soluble monoferric phytate was demonstrated to be bioavailable in the cell model. Nicotianamine, an iron chelator in plants involved in iron transport, was a more potent enhancer of iron uptake into Caco-2 cells than ascorbic acid or 2'-deoxymugineic acid, another metal chelator present in plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10320-10325
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2014


  • 2'-deoxymugineic acid
  • Caco-2 cells
  • ascorbic acid
  • iron
  • nicotianamine
  • phytate
  • wheat

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