King's College London

Research portal

Micromilling enhances iron bioaccessibility from wholegrain wheat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11222-7
Number of pages6
Issue number46
Early online date7 Nov 2014
Accepted/In press23 Oct 2014
E-pub ahead of print7 Nov 2014
Published19 Nov 2014


King's Authors


Cereals constitute important sources of iron in human diet; however, much of the iron in wheat is lost during processing for the production of white flour. This study employed novel food processing techniques to increase the bioaccessibility of naturally occurring iron in wheat. Iron was localized in wheat by Perl's Prussian blue staining. Soluble iron from digested wheat flour was measured by a ferrozine spectrophotometric assay. Iron bioaccessibility was determined using an in vitro simulated peptic-pancreatic digestion, followed by measurement of ferritin (a surrogate marker for iron absorption) in Caco-2 cells. Light microscopy revealed that iron in wheat was encapsulated in cells of the aleurone layer and remained intact after in vivo digestion and passage through the gastrointestinal tract. The solubility of iron in wholegrain wheat and in purified wheat aleurone increased significantly after enzymatic digestion with Driselase, and following mechanical disruption using micromilling. Furthermore, following in vitro simulated peptic-pancreatic digestion, iron bioaccessibility, measured as ferritin formation in Caco-2 cells, from micromilled aleurone flour was significantly higher (52%) than from whole aleurone flour. Taken together our data show that disruption of aleurone cell walls could increase iron bioaccessibility. Micromilled aleurone could provide an alternative strategy for iron fortification of cereal products.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454