• iron deficiency;
  • iron pots;
  • fermented porridge;
  • organic acids;
  • chelators

ABSTRACT: Amounts of iron released from iron pots vary from meal to meal. The effects of salt, pH, and organic acids as iron chelators were studied. Maize (corn) porridges were prepared in a cast iron pot from maize flour and 12 aqueous solutions with different pH (3.7 or 7.2), salt contents (0% or 0.5% NaCl), and organic acids (1% lactate, 1% citrate, or none). Salt had no effect, but acidic pH or organic acids (citrate > lactate) significantly increased iron amount, from 1.7 mg to 26.8 mg Fe per 100 g. The amounts released could be important in the treatment and prevention of iron deficiency.