Fighting Iron Deficiencies with Microparticles


Aaron C. Anselmo, Benjamin L. Larson, Wen Tang, Robert Langer, and Ana Jaklenec


Micronutrient (MN) malnutrition affects both developing countries where it is the leading cause of developmental issues in children, and developed countries where MN deficiencies often accompany diseases. As such, implementing effective food fortification strategies can potentially improve the health status of MN malnourished populations. However, many challenges both technological (e.g. cooking stability, storage stability, sensory detection) and socio-economic (e.g. implementation, adherence) have prevented widespread MN fortification. To address these technological issues we have developed a microparticle (200um diameter) specifically designed to deliver iron to treat iron deficiency. Our particle addresses the main scientific challenges of MN fortification by enabling the iron to: (i) remain viable under harsh storage conditions and (ii) resist heat-degradation as experienced during cooking.