Iron contents of Malawian foods when prepared in iron cooking pots

P D Prinsen Geerligs, B J Brabin, D J Hart, S J Fairweather-Tait

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the iron content of Malawian foods prepared in iron pots and to examine the effects of continuous cooking time and added oil on the iron content of the food prepared. Foods prepared, which included a staple (Nsima), relish vegetables, and beans, had an increased iron content when prepared in an iron compared to a glass pot. For these three foods, iron content per gram increased by 3.15 micrograms, 35.8 micrograms, and 147.32 micrograms, respectively. Continuous use of the iron pot for cooking could have a positive effect on the amount of iron added to the food, as the three foods' iron content increased by a further 2.9 micrograms iron/g, 7.6 micrograms iron/g and 20.1 micrograms iron/g, respectively. This effect needs more study. Food pH was significantly negatively correlated with food iron content. The use of oil reduced the amount of iron added to stir-fried vegetables by 52.37 micrograms/g and increased iron added to Nsima (1.2 micrograms/g). Malawian foods increased their iron content when cooked in iron pots. This method of food preparation potentially provides a low-cost sustainable means of improving the iron intakes of families and communities where this traditional method of food preparation is acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Cooking
  • Cooking and Eating Utensils
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fabaceae
  • Food
  • Food Analysis
  • Glass
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Iron
  • Malawi
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Vegetables
  • Zea mays

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