Iron is an essential nutrient responsible for energy metabolism, especially in infants and menstruating or pregnant women. Iron deficiency results in fatigue, lack of productivity, constipation, gastric disorders, diarrhea, and increases the risk of developing diseases.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron in females ranges from 10-30 mg. The RDA for adult men, women over 50, infants and children is 8-10mg. As the average U.S. diet provides an insufficient amount of iron, doctors often recommend iron supplements for high-need groups. This deficiency presents manufacturers with an incredible opportunity to add value to their products through iron fortification.

Many iron sources that exhibit the best bioavailability, however, adversely affect product quality by accelerating lipid oxidation, producing unfavorable color or flavor and causing severe irritation of the gastrointestinal system. Compatible and non-reactive iron compounds are needed for fortification of foods as they have less of an "iron taste" compared to soluble iron. However, due to insolubility issues, precipitation of such iron prevents fortification in large amounts.

Using its proprietary Nutrition Delivery System, Taiyo Kagaku has prepared a super-dispersed fortifier with ferric pyrophosphate, SunActive Fe™, which disperses insoluble iron in liquid formulations and produces no precipitation. This technology masks any disagreeable iron flavors without affecting the flavor of the final product. When dispersed in water, it creates a clear to slightly milky white solution, not the usual brownish color of most other iron ingredients. SunActive Fe™ is stable against heat, salt, pH and oxidation, and is mild on the gastrointestinal system, providing a non-irritating iron fortification with superior absorption properties and bioavailability.

Human clinical trials conducted at the Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Zurich, Switzerland, compared iron absorption of SunActive Fe™ to that of ferrous sulfate in a stable isotope bioavailability study with infant cereal and yogurt drinks. Results indicate that SunActive Fe™ has the same bioavailability as ferrous sulfate in adult women.

Manufacturers throughout Europe and Asia are currently formulating products with SunActive Fe™ to provide iron-fortified milk, yogurt and sportsdrinks.

Taiyo is a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients for the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries. Taiyo focuses on the development of innovative ingredients, derived from natural sources, to further develop the body's ability to protect and improve one's health. SunActive Fe™ is available from Taiyo’s North American subsidiary, Taiyo International, Inc., located in Edina, Minnesota.