The following is a summary of “Efficacy of Pneumatophorus japonicus meat as an iron fortificant in whole-wheat flour in preventing iron deficiency.,” published in the December 2022 issue of Medicine by Tan B, et al.

One-third of the world’s population suffers from iron deficiency anemia (IDA), a worldwide health issue, particularly in regions where plant-based diets are more prevalent. Iron enrichment of staple foods has proven to be a successful method of IDA prevention. Pneumatophorus japonicus is a crucial fish for economic growth. Although Pneumatophorus japonicus dark meat has a wealth of minerals, including heme iron (10.50 mg/100 g), it is typically underused as a byproduct. 

Researchers for a study used an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell culture system to examine the iron bioavailability of P. japonicus dark meat and assess its potential as an iron fortifier for whole-wheat flour, a common staple meal. 

The findings indicated that P. japonicus dark meat had high iron bioavailability when compared to beef (a dietary iron reference that contains heme), whole-wheat flour (a dietary iron reference that has no heme), and FeSO4 (a conventional iron supplement). Whole-wheat flour’s iron solubility, bioavailability, and protein digestion were all noticeably improved by adding P. japonicus dark meat. In comparison to beef, the flour-dark meat combo produced 1.96 times the amount of iron that was bioavailable per gram. By adding vitamin C, a regularly consumed dietary component, at a Vc/iron mass ratio of 2:100-5:100, the iron bioavailability was further increased. The research showed the potential of P. japonicus dark meat as a substantial source of bioavailable iron, laying the groundwork for developing fish byproducts as iron supplement substitutes.

Using an in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell culture method, the study examined the iron bioavailability of Pneumatophorus japonicus meat. The findings might help better use the dark meat byproduct from Pneumatophorus japonicus and increase its potential for usage in whole-wheat flour as an iron fortifier.