Richard F Hurrell's research while affiliated with ETH Zurich and other places

Publications (339)

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Ferrous ammonium phosphate (FAP) is an iron salt that has been developed for the fortification of food matrices sensitive to color and flavor changes. The objective of the study was to measure iron absorption from FAP in young children and compare it to a previous evaluation of FAP in young women. A double-blind randomized crossover study with two...
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Iron fortification of foods has always been a challenge. This is because iron fortification compounds vary widely in relative absorption; because many foods undergo unacceptable changes in color or flavor from the addition of iron; and because many of the iron-fortified foods contain potent inhibitors of iron absorption. These technical barriers ha...
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The potential of double-fortified salt (DFS) to improve population iron status is compared with the potential of iron-fortified wheat flour, maize flour, rice grains, and milk products. The potential for a positive impact on iron status is based on reported efficacy studies, consumption patterns, the extent of industrialization, and whether there a...
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This introductory article provides an in-depth technical background for iron fortification, and thus introduces a series of articles in this supplement designed to present the current evidence on the fortification of salt with both iodine and iron, that is, double-fortified salt (DFS). This article reviews our current knowledge of the causes and co...
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Background: Iron deficiency is a major public health concern in Ethiopia, where the traditional diet is based on tef injera. Iron absorption from injera is low due to its high phytic acid (PA) content. Objectives: We investigated ways to increase iron absorption from FeSO4-fortified tef injera in normal-weight healthy women (aged 21-29 y). Meth...
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Background: Bouillon cubes are a potential vehicle for iron fortification. They are currently fortified with ferric pyrophosphate (FePP), which is known to be poorly absorbed. The objective of this study was to assess the iron absorption of Aspergillus oryzae grown in FePP (ASP-p) and compare it with FePP and ferrous sulfate (FeSO4)-fortified boui...
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Objectives: Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a widespread nutritional deficiency. Iron supplementation with ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) is the most common strategy to treat IDA; however, the compliance with daily FeSO4 administration is poor, due to contraindicating side effects. Previously, we have reported that A. oryzae (Ultimine®; ULT) is a novel i...
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Background: Limited data exist on human zinc absorption from wheat biofortified via foliar (FBW) or root (hydroponically fortified wheat, HBW) zinc application. Stable isotope labels added at point of consumption (extrinsic labeling) might not reflect absorption from native zinc obtained by intrinsic labeling. Objectives: We measured fractional...
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This is the fifth in the series of reviews developed as part of the Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) program. The BOND Iron Expert Panel (I-EP) reviewed the extant knowledge regarding iron biology, public health implications, and the relative usefulness of currently available biomarkers of iron status from deficiency to overload. Appr...
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Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The efficacy of iron fortification against IDA is uncertain in malaria-endemic settings. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a complementary food (CF) fortified with sodium iron EDTA (NaFeEDTA) plus either ferrous fumarate (FeFum) or ferric...
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Purpose: An iron-enriched yeast able to lyse at body temperature was developed for iron fortification of chilled dairy products. The aim was to evaluate iron (Fe) absorption from iron-enriched yeast or ferrous sulfate added to fresh cheese. Methods: Two stable isotope studies with a crossover design were conducted in 32 young women. Fe absorptio...
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Background: Extruded rice grains are often cofortified with iron and zinc. However, it is uncertain if the addition of zinc to iron-fortified rice affects iron absorption and whether this is zinc-compound specific. Objective: We investigated whether zinc, added as zinc oxide (ZnO) or zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), affects human iron absorption from extru...
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High-throughput/low-cost/low-tech methods for phytic acid determination that are sufficiently accurate and reproducible would be of value in plant genetics, crop breeding and in the food and feed industries. Variants of two candidate methods, those described by Vaintraub and Lapteva (Anal Biochem 175:227–24, 1988; “VL” methods) and Huang and Lantzs...
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Iron deficiency is commonly assumed to cause half of all cases of anemias, with hereditary blood disorders and infections such as hookworm and malaria being the other major causes. In countries ranked as low, medium, and high by the Human Development Index, we conducted a systematic review of nationally representative surveys that reported the prev...
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Background/objectives: Fortifying cereal staples with zinc is a strategy for increasing zinc intake in young children in developing countries. However, phytic acid (PA) naturally present in cereals strongly decreases zinc absorption. A stable-isotope zinc absorption study was conducted in young children to investigate the ability of the PA-degradi...
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Different metabolic pathways of supplemental and fortification Fe, or inhibition of Zn absorption by Fe, may explain adverse effects of supplemental Fe in Fe-sufficient infants. We determined whether the mode of oral Fe administration or the amount habitually consumed affects Fe absorption and systemic Fe utilisation in infants, and assessed the ef...
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Paramount among the challenges to our ability to address the role of food and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention is how to design and implement context-specific interventions and guidance. The Integration to Effective Implementation (I-to-I) concept is intended to address the complexities of the global health context through engag...
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Background: Biofortification of staple food crops is a promising strategy to combat zinc deficiency, and it is of particular interest for rice and crops that are not consumed as flours and therefore not suitable for postharvest fortification. Because zinc absorption is decreased by phytic acid (PA) and perhaps other dietary components, it is impor...
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Background: Iron deficiency (ID) and malaria co-exist in tropical regions and both contribute to high rates of anaemia in young children. It is unclear whether iron fortification combined with intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) of malaria would be an efficacious strategy for reducing anaemia in young children. Methods: A 9-month cluster-ran...
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Flour fortification as a strategy to prevent anaemia - Volume 114 Issue 4 - Richard F. Hurrell
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Background: A large number of illnesses, afflicting one-third of the world's population, have been attributed to zinc deficiency. Inadequate dietary intake of bioavailable forms of zinc is considered the most frequent cause of zinc deficiency, which is most common in arid regions of developing countries. Objective: To employ a modeling approach in...
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The provision of iron- fortified foods is a common strategy to prevent iron deficiency; however, ensuring adequate iron absorption is a challenge. Iron bioavailability depends on the choice of iron compound, the presence enhancers and inhibitors of absorption in the food matrix, and the physiological state of the consumer, including iron status, ot...
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In sub-Saharan Africa, parasitic diseases and low bioavailable iron intake are major causes of anemia. Anemia results from inflammation, preventing iron recycling and decreasing dietary iron absorption. Hookworm, Plasmodium, and Schistosoma infections contribute to anemia, but their influence on dietary iron absorption and recycling is unknown. The...
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A quick-cooking rice, produced from broken rice, is a convenient ingredient for complementary foods in Thailand. The rice is fortified with micronutrients including iron during the processing procedure, which can cause unacceptable sensory changes. A quick-cooking rice fortified with ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) or a mixture of ferrous sulphate (F...
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Common beans are a staple food and the major source of iron for populations in Eastern Africa and Latin America. Bean iron concentration is high and can be further increased by biofortification. A major constraint to bean iron biofortification is low iron absorption, attributed to inhibitory compounds such as phytic acid (PA) and polyphenol(s) (PP)...
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Background: Calcium inhibits and ascorbic acid (AA) enhances iron absorption from iron-fortified foods. Absorption efficiency depends on iron status, although the interaction is unclear. Objective: We investigated the ability of AA to overcome calcium-induced inhibition of iron absorption in children differing in iron status. Methods: The effe...
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Background: The common bean is a staple crop in many African and Latin American countries and is the focus of biofortification initiatives. Bean iron concentration has been doubled by selective plant breeding, but the additional iron is reported to be of low bioavailability, most likely due to high phytic acid (PA) concentrations. Objective: The...
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In sub-Saharan Africa, children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria and anaemia are often given iron supplementation at the time of malaria treatment. Inflammation during and after malaria may decrease iron absorption, thus, absorption might be improved if the start of supplementation is delayed. The study objective was to measure iron absorption fr...
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Ethiopian injera, a soft pancake, baked from fermented batter, is preferentially prepared from tef (Eragrostis tef) flour. The phytic acid (PA) content of tef is high and is only partly degraded during the fermentation step. PA chelates with iron and zinc in the human digestive tract and strongly inhibits their absorption. With the aim to formulate...
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The iron storage protein ferritin is a potential vehicle to enhance the iron content of biofortified crops. With the aim of evaluating the potential of ferritin iron in plant breeding, we used species-specific isotope dilution mass spectrometry to quantify ferritin iron in bean varieties with a wide range of total iron content. Zinc, phytic acid, a...
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Background: After the oral administration of iron, the production of circulating non-transferrin-bound iron may contribute to an increased risk of illness in malaria-endemic areas that lack effective medical services. Objective: In healthy women with a range of body iron stores, we aimed to determine effects on the production of circulating non-...
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Food-to-food fortification can be a promising approach to improve the low dietary iron intake and bioavailability from monotonous diets based on a small number of staple plant foods. In Burkina Faso, the common diet consists of a thick, cereal-based paste consumed with sauces composed of mainly green leaves, such as amaranth and jute leaves. Increa...
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Fortification of cereal staples with zinc is recommended to combat zinc deficiency. To optimize zinc absorption, strategies are needed to overcome the inhibitory effect of phytic acid (PA) and perhaps polyphenols. Five zinc absorption studies were conducted in young adults consuming maize or sorghum porridges fortified with 2 mg zinc as zinc sulfat...
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There is evidence that carotenoids, the fat-soluble pigments in fruits and vegetables, are linked to improvements in certain chronic diseases including agerelated macular degeneration, cell-transformation and cardiovascular diseases. It is also known that for humans the bioavailability of carotenoids present in fruits and vegetables is comparativel...
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As the immune cells underlying the intestinal barrier sense luminal microbial signals, blood cell transcriptomics may identify subclinical changes triggered by gut bacteria that may otherwise not be detected. We have therefore investigated how Lactobacillus gasseri K7 and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 modulate the blood cell transcript...
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Vitamin A (VA)-fortified rice is a potential intervention strategy to prevent VA deficiency in at-risk populations. Hot-extruded, triple-fortified rice grains with added VA, zinc, and iron were produced by hot extrusion technology and their ability to improve VA status was tested in Thai schoolchildren. The fortification levels were 10 mg of iron,...
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It is well-known that deficiency or over exposure to various elements has noticeable effects on human health. The effect of an element is determined by several characteristics, including absorption, metabolism, and degree of interaction with physiological processes. Iron is an essential element for almost all living organisms as it participates in...
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The aim of this study was to estimate the zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) status of different age groups in rural (Rooran) and suburban (Khomeini Shahr) populations in central Iran, to relate the Zn status to Zn intake from animal and plant foods, and to examine the relationship between Zn and Fe status. Blood samples from 341 subjects including preschool...
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The water-soluble zinc salts gluconate, sulfate, and acetate are commonly used as supplements in tablet or syrup form to prevent zinc deficiency and to treat diarrhea in children in combination with oral rehydration. Zinc citrate is an alternative compound with high zinc content, slightly soluble in water, which has better sensory properties in syr...
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The aim of this study is to investigate lead contamination in food chain and evaluate the consequent health risks to local residents in three different sites in the Marrakech urban area, compared to a rural reference region far from any source of lead contamination. The following three urban sites that have been selected to have different potential...
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In addition to phytate, polyphenols (PP) might contribute to low Fe bioavailability from sorghum-based foods. To investigate the inhibitory effects of sorghum PP on Fe absorption and the potential enhancing effects of ascorbic acid (AA), NaFeEDTA and the PP oxidase enzyme laccase, we carried out three Fe absorption studies in fifty young women cons...
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Iron biofortification of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a promising approach to combat iron deficiency (ID) in the millet-consuming communities of developing countries. To evaluate the potential of iron-biofortified millet to provide additional bioavailable iron compared with regular millet and post-harvest iron-fortified millet, an iron abso...
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Iron bioavailability from common beans is negatively influenced by phytic acid (PA) and polyphenols (PPs). Newly developed low-PA (lpa) beans with 90% less PA and variable PPs might improve iron bioavailability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of lpa beans on iron bioavailability in women (n = 20). We compared iron absorption fr...
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Home fortification with lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNSs) is a promising approach to improve bioavailable iron and energy intake of young children in developing countries. To optimize iron bioavailability from an LNS named complementary food fortificant (CFF), 3 stable isotope studies were conducted in 52 young Beninese children. Test meals c...
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Background: Iron deficiency (ID) is a major cause of anemia, along with other nutritional, parasitic, and genetic factors. Accurate biomarkers are needed to estimate the relative contribution of ID to anemia. Soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) is thought to be unaffected by inflammation. Objectives: The objectives were to determine the differen...
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Background: Parasitic diseases (eg, malaria and helminthiases) exert enormous burdens on public health and social well-being. Moreover, parasitic infections are important causes of anemia in tropical Africa, exacerbated by lack of a diversified diet and inflammatory and genetic diseases. There is a paucity of longitudinal studies monitoring the dy...
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Carotenoids are plant pigments which are thought to decrease the risk of degenerative diseases via their antioxidant properties. The aim of this work was to create a carotenoid database for clearly identified Swiss vegetables, grown under known conditions and analyzed using a standardized protocol. We determined the six major carotenoids in the veg...
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Since its first discovery in an Iranian male in 1961, zinc deficiency in humans is now known to be an important malnutrition problem world-wide. It is more prevalent in areas of high cereal and low animal food consumption. The diet may not necessarily be low in zinc, but its bio-availability plays a major role in its absorption. Phytic acid is the...
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Iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and vitamin A (VA) deficiencies are common among children in developing countries and often occur in the same individual. Rice is widely consumed in the developing countries of Asia and the low phytate in polished rice makes it ideal for Zn and Fe fortification. Triple-fortified rice grains with Zn, Fe, and VA were produced us...
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Background. Parasitic diseases (eg, malaria and helminthiases) exert enormous burdens on public health and social well-being. Moreover, parasitic infections are important causes of anemia in tropical Africa, exacerbated by lack of a diversified diet and inflammatory and genetic diseases. There is a paucity of longitudinal studies monitoring the dyn...
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There are no comprehensive food composition data on minerals and phytic acid (PA) contents of Iranian foods, which is an important prerequisite when assessing nutrient intake and nutritional status of the population. In this study, zinc (Zn) was analysed in major staples (rice, bread, and legumes; n = 111), main animal source foods (dairy and meat...
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Background: Given the widespread distribution of Plasmodium and helminth infections, and similarities of ecological requirements for disease transmission, coinfection is a common phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the tropics. Interactions of Plasmodium falciparum and soil-transmitted helminths, including immunological responses and...
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Background: Little is known about the combined effects of iron and n-3 (omega-3) fatty acid (FA) supplementation on cognitive performance. The provision of either DHA/EPA or iron alone in rats with combined iron and n-3 FA deficiency has been reported to exacerbate cognitive deficits associated with deficiency. Objective: We investigated the eff...
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Multi‐micronutrient‐fortified rice could be an effective and sustainable approach to combat micronutrient deficiencies. We produced hot‐extruded artificial rice grains fortified with 10 mg iron (as micronised ground ferric pyrophosphate), 5 mg zinc (as oxide, sulphate or carbonate) and 750 μg vitamin A/g [as retinyl palmitate (RP)] and measured RP...
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Wheat is the primary staple food for nearly one-third of the world's population. NaFeEDTA is the only iron (Fe) compound suitable for fortifying high extraction flours. We tested the hypothesis that NaFeEDTA-fortified, whole wheat flour reduces Fe deficiency (ID) and improves body Fe stores (BIS) and cognitive performance in Indian children. In a r...
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Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to establish bioavailability data in humans for the new (Fe) fortification compound ferrous ammonium phosphate (FAP), which was specially developed for fortification of difficult-to-fortify foods where soluble Fe compounds cannot be used due to their negative impact on product stability. Methods: A dou...
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Anemia affects one-quarter of the world's population, but its etiology remains poorly understood. We determined the prevalence of anemia and studied underlying risk factors in infants (6-23 months), young school-aged children (6-8 years), and young non-pregnant women (15-25 years) in south-central Côte d'Ivoire. Blood, stool, and urine samples were...