Interlaboratory Trial on the Determination of the In Vitro Iron Dialysability from Food



An in vitro method for the estimation of iron bioavailability was subjected to an interlaboratory trial. The method involved a simulated gastrointestinal digestion using pepsin for the gastric stage followed by pancreatin and bile salts for the intestinal stage. The proportion of iron diffused through a semi-permeable membrane (molecular mass cut-off 10 kDa) was used to measure the iron dialysability. An interlaboratory trial between nine laboratories was conducted to evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of the agreed method. The reproducibility of the method among the participating laboratories was 20–30% and depended on the content of dialysable iron. Several factors contributing to the variation in the in vitro dialysability among laboratories are discussed. The pH adjustment in the intestinal digestion was identified as one of the critical parameters. The present in vitro method was used to evaluate the iron dialysability from three meals. The dialysability data were in reasonable agreement with human absorption data. The usefulness of the in vitro dialysability method is discussed.