British Journal of Nutrition

Human and Clinical Nutrition

Efficacy of a microencapsulated iron pyrophosphate-fortified fruit juice: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Spanish iron-deficient women

Ruth Blanco-Rojoa1, Ana M. Pérez-Granadosa1, Laura Toxquia1, Carmen González-Vizcaynoa2, Marco A. Delgadoa3 and M. Pilar Vaqueroa1 c1

a1 Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), C/José Antonio Novais 10, 28040 Madrid, Spain

a2 Clinical Analysis Laboratory, Madrid Salud, Madrid, Spain

a3 Grupo Leche Pascual, Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain


Fe-deficiency anaemia is a worldwide health problem. We studied the influence of consuming an Fe-fortified fruit juice on Fe status in menstruating women. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 16 weeks of duration was performed. Subjects were randomised into two groups: the P group (n 58) or the F group (n 64), and consumed, as a supplement to their usual diet, 500 ml/d of a placebo fruit juice or an Fe-fortified fruit juice, respectively. The Fe-fortified fruit juice, containing microencapsulated iron pyrophosphate, provided 18 mg Fe/d (100 % of the RDA). At baseline and monthly, dietary intake, body weight and Fe parameters were determined: total erythrocytes, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red blood cell distribution width (RDW), Hb, serum Fe, serum ferritin, serum transferrin, transferrin saturation, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP). The fruit juice consumption involved increased intake of carbohydrates and vitamin C, and increased BMI within normal limits. Ferritin was higher in the F group after week 4 (P < 0·05) and became 80 % higher than in the P group after week 16 (P < 0·001), and transferrin decreased in the F group compared with the P group after week 4 (P < 0·001). RDW was higher at weeks 4 and 8 in the F group compared with the P group (P < 0·05). Transferrin saturation increased after week 8, and haematocrit, MCV and Hb increased after week 12, in the F group compared with the P group. Serum Fe did not change. sTfR and ZnPP decreased in the F group at week 16 (P < 0·05). Iron pyrophosphate-fortified fruit juice improves Fe status and may be used to prevent Fe-deficiency anaemia.

(Received July 12 2010)

(Revised November 29 2010)

(Accepted November 30 2010)

(Online publication February 08 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: M. P. Vaquero, fax +34 915943627, email


Abbreviations: AA, ascorbic acid; F, fortified group; P, placebo group; RDW, red blood cell distribution width; STfR, soluble transferrin receptor; ZnPP, zinc protoporphyrin