Mössbauer spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements were performed on commercial iron rich cereal and on an iron supplement at room temperature. X-ray diffraction patterns of the raw cereal showed it to be more of an amorphous compound while the iron supplement was found to be in a crystalline form. Mössbauer spectra of the raw cereal showed about 81% of the iron in the ferric phase (Fe 3), 18% in the metal form (Fe), and less than 1% in the ferrous phase (Fe 2). Mössbauer spectra of the extracted iron from the raw cereal showed about 29% in the ferric phase, 70% in the metal phase, and less than 1% in the ferrous phase. Mössbauer measurements of the iron supplement showed 100% of the iron to be in the ferrous phase. The bioavailability of iron is generally attributed to the solubility of iron that is dependent on the oxidation state of iron in food and iron supplements. This study suggested that iron-rich cereal might not be the optimum source of iron for humans.
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