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Nutrients 2015, 7(2), 1144-1173; doi:10.3390/nu7021144

Review: The Potential of the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) as a Vehicle for Iron Biofortification

1
Groundwork LLC, Crans-près-Céligny 1299 Switzerland
2
International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC 20006-1002, USA
3
Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, Laboratory of Human Nutrition, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 29 January 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
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Abstract

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). We have evaluated the usefulness of the common bean as a vehicle for iron biofortification. High iron concentrations and wide genetic variability have enabled plant breeders to develop high iron bean varieties (up to 10 mg/100 g). PA concentrations in beans are high and tend to increase with iron biofortification. Short-term human isotope studies indicate that iron absorption from beans is low, PA is the major inhibitor, and bean PP play a minor role. Multiple composite meal studies indicate that decreasing the PA level in the biofortified varieties substantially increases iron absorption. Fractional iron absorption from composite meals was 4%–7% in iron deficient women; thus the consumption of 100 g biofortified beans/day would provide about 30%–50% of their daily iron requirement. Beans are a good vehicle for iron biofortification, and regular high consumption would be expected to help combat iron deficiency (ID). View Full-Text
Keywords: common bean; iron biofortification; phytic acid; polyphenols; ferritin; stable iron isotope studies common bean; iron biofortification; phytic acid; polyphenols; ferritin; stable iron isotope studies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Petry, N.; Boy, E.; Wirth, J.P.; Hurrell, R.F. Review: The Potential of the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) as a Vehicle for Iron Biofortification. Nutrients 2015, 7, 1144-1173.

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